Wednesday, June 15, 2016

June (first half) 2016 Reads

From the Library

The House of Dreams by Kate Lord Brown
Fictional account of artists escaping occupied France. A mixture of real (Varian Fry) & fictional (Gabriel Lambert) characters. I liked it.

The Pier Falls: And Other Stories by Mark Haddon
Dark and absorbing tales. Really good.

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
A young man and a young woman meet near their colleges. They fall in love and marry--or do they? We are given three interwoven versions of what might have happened. A good read.

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Oddly, for a book that I liked, I found this easy to set aside and read other things (including the two listed above). But I did keep picking it up again and reading more. I finally finished it.

Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend
Spies roughing it in the Galapagos during WW2, a strange marriage, and the lifelong friendship of two women are all elements in this novel. Based (extremely) loosely on real lives.

The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father by Kao Kalia Yang
Hmong refuge family, driven from the mountains of Laos by American's Secret War, through camps in Thailand, and relocated to Minnesota.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

May (second half) 2016 Reads

From the Library

Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan, Annie Tucker (Translator)
Indonesian history winds its way through this epic family tale. Plenty of ghosts, love, violence, and more. Fantastic.

The Monsters of Templeton by

Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue, Natasha Wimmer (Translator)
Didn't care much for this acclaimed novel.

Alice in Bed: A Novel by Judith Hooper
Liked this novel based on the letters and journals of Alice James.

Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett
On Women's Prize for Fiction Longlist (2016). I didn't find it prize worthy. Just ok. I learned a bit about Australian whaling history.

Good Sam by Dete Meserve
Sappy story about a good Samaritan--wish I hadn't bothered.

All the Presidents' Gardens: Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses, How the White House Grounds Have Grown with America by Marta McDowell
Most of the text was familiar to me, but I still enjoyed the book for its illustrations.