The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
This book is by the same author of The Lovely Bones. The story evolves over a 24-hour period, where a woman who just murdered her mother is forced to confront the choices that have brought her to this crossroad in life.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
A lost soul is shepherded across America by mythical gods. This is a highly intriguing, but complicated, novel.
Another Pan by Daniel & Dina Nayeri
Very good. A semi-sequel to Another Faust, it is much better balanced.
Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews
Great summer book which takes place in a sleepy, distressed Florida town. Greer works for a Hollywood production company. She finds this town to be the backdrop of a new movie. She meets and falls in love with the town’s mayor. Of course there are a few bumps along the way but there is a happy ending. Highly recommended.
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
A South American country hosts a dinner party for a prominent Japanese businessman featuring an operatic diva which turns into a politically charged scene. This plot covers several weeks of a siege between the terrorists and the local government during which everyone, including the hostages, begins to learn other characteristics of themselves. The book is told in a surprisingly lyrical fashion which allows the reader to be almost at peace with this frightening situation.
Best Kept Secrets ] by Sandra Brown
Not as easy to figure out who the culprit is. Many different characters to choose from. Hard to solve a 20-year-old crime.
Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies: The Real West by David Fisher
Biographies of legends of the West. Went into detail on little known facts. Information on slang that we use today – why is a dollar/money referred to as a buck? Buckskins were considered currency. Interesting but would be more appealing for someone who had an interest in this area.
The Blue Star by Tony Earley
This book is a continuation of “Jim the Boy” by the same author. The main character is now in his last year of high school, and a lot happens. I liked his metamorphosis from a selfish immature boy into a strong young man, even though only about 18 months pass. It was a nice, uncomplicated novel.
Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo
I usually enjoy books written from a Scandinavian author, and this book is no exception. I always find it funny and strange when I sympathize with a character who is a hired killer. Well, it happened again with this book! This is a relatively quick read (208 pages) and I think most readers would enjoy it!
Boy by Roald Dahl
Simple, charming, fascinating…one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. We learn the horrors of English boarding school as well as the spark for Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Holy Gobstopper! A great book!
The Boys in the Boat by Dr. J Brown
A memoir about the 9 member crew who overcame all obstacles to win the gold in the ’36 Olympics. Well written.
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
Bridget Jones has a “to do” list for this year. She’s single and wants to cure that problem. She also wants to be thinner and healthier (no cigarettes or drinking). Despite what she wants, she keeps standing in her own way. A series of misadventures causes chaos in Bridget’s life but they can all be traced back to her misguided thinking. I enjoyed this book due to its unique format (like a diary) and because I felt myself cheering her on until she finally got it right.
Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy
It took a while for me to get through the 1st part of the book. It was hard to remember the characters and the Russian names. But then I reached the point of the action and I couldn’t put the book down. Don’t give up on the story. The background info is needed to understand the whole story.
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Clary Fray feels like any other misunderstood teen fighting with her single mom while living in NYC, but suddenly her life and her perception of everything changes. This is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series and introduces the fantasy world of the shadowhunters. If you liked the “Twilight” series, you will also enjoy this book with likable characters, lots of action, and new experiences to explore.
Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan
Chic-lit. Easy beach read. Enjoyable, kept my attention.
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
An excellent story. So much drama and turmoil.
The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe by Romain Puertolas
I LOVED THIS BOOK! One of the smartest, funniest stories I have ever read. Truly delightful – definitely read this book; you won’t be disappointed!
Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman
A good read. I like that this took place in Arizona rather than your typical NYC location.
Firegirl by Tony Abbott
A great book if you are anywhere from age 12 through 18. The social awkwardness of the main character was spot-on. Reactions to the story’s protagonist were predictable. Add a star if you are in middle school.
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
A dying preacher leaves his family history and philosophy to his young son. Robinson touches on some profound religious arguments, but it’s too much of a snoozer to care.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
A mystery evolves outside of London as told from the perspectives of 3 different women (Rachel, Anna, and Megan). As a regular train commuter, one always wonders about the million stories out there among the fellow riders, as well as all of the places we pass and this book captures a voyeuristic fantasy of a mystery.
Going Solo ] by Roald Dahl
Celebrated author Roald Dahl continues the autobiography he began in his earlier book Boy. It follows his voyage from England to work for Shell Oil after which he serves his country in the Royal Air Force.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
13-year-old Theo Decker survives a bombing at a museum leaving his mother dead. He steals a rare painting and so this 800-page story follows him slowly through adulthood leading into the criminal underworld. It was very dragged out and very descriptive. Too many details.
Harmless by Dana Reinhardt
I picked up this book from the students’ summer reading shelves. As an adult, and a mom, it was difficult for me to read as these three 14-year-old girls continued making poor choices in their lives. Add a star if you are under age 20 or so…
In the Company of Sherlock Holmes – Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger
There are 15 stories in this book. They all have to do – somewhat – with the Sherlock Holmes stories, or are from a minor character’s point-of-view, which I found very entertaining. Some of them are modern twists and read like a true “whodunit” – and there is one story from a horse’s point-of-view as well. A good read – add a star if you are a Sherlock Holmes fan!
Jim the Boy by Tony Earley
If you are looking for a simple, nice, uncomplicated story, this book is for you. I am not sure if this is a Young Adult book or not. It made me feel nostalgic for childhood. The characters are very warm and you will wonder what happens to them in life.
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Enter Jason Grace, a demigod with amnesia who finds his way to Camp Half-Blood with his friends, Piper and Leo. This is the first book of a new series which is a spinoff of the Percy Jackson series and introduces the Roman aspects of mythology. Can’t wait to read the rest of this series!
Marriage of Inconvenience by Debbie Macomber
When it is summer, I love to relax with my favorite authors. I thought I had read everything Debbie Macomber had written but I found this book. In typical Macomber style, the book is about Jamie Warren who has given up on dating and decides she just wants to be a mother. She approaches her best friend Rich Manning to be the father of her child Jamie and Rich ends up with a new relationship as they enter their “marriage of inconvenience.” While predictable, the story is enjoyable and was a great way to start off summer reading.
The Maytrees by Annie Dillard
This novel tells the tale of the Maytrees – how Toby met Lou, their lives together and apart. The main characters and all of their friends are somewhat interesting but the entire story is told in an obtuse fashion that makes it difficult to follow. For me, the description of Cape Cod, MA was the only redeeming factor of the whole book.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
A paralyzed man and his caregiver live life and find out you got to go for it. Enjoy!
The Middle of Somewhere by Sonja Young
In this novel, Liz is physically and emotionally challenged during her hike of the John Muir Trail in California. Her backstory is told in flashbacks while her relationship with her boyfriend/hiking partner, Dante, is put to the test. I admire how the author is able to bring to life a complex character, as well as wonderful descriptions of nature.
Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani
Ave Maria hears from a psychic that she has to learn to redream. Her life, although ordinary, seems to exhaust her. She struggles with events from the past…not knowing her father, losing her son…that impact her choices today. She seems to want to control the world as it continues to spin. As she grows, she learns that she should appreciate people for who they are and to let them make their own choices. This book is last in a series…wish I had known. I feel as though the backstories weren’t explained.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sload
Old school meets technology. Well-written, enjoyable read.
Mr. Tall by Tony Earley
Very funny, touching, and memorable stories in this collection. Some of the characters are in more than one story, but at different stages of their lives. Most stories are set in the Appalachia region, which gives the tales a different perspective. I liked this book so much that I will be looking for other titles by this author.
The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
This novel is set in NYC 1911 and weaves the story of Coralie Sardie and Eddie Cohen. The author does an amazing job describing Coney Island and the Manhattan sweatshops at the beginning of the 20th century in a surprisingly cohesive tale about 2 young people finding their way in the world and each other. The imagery and use of elements (fire and water) gives the story an unworldly feel, but draws the reader in by touching on human reactions and emotions.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
One of her best books. Two sisters caught up in France in WWII. Both do whatever they can to survive the war. Isabella becomes the nightingale, transporting servicemen across Spain to freedom, until she is caught. She fights work camps and concentration camps only to die after liberation in the arms of the man she loves. Vianne does anything to save her daughter while her husband is at war. She saves her best friend’s son from being taken by Nazis and other Jewish children. Very historical – highly recommended.
On the Street Where You Live by Mary Higgins Clark
After selling stock a client gave her in lieu of cash, attorney Emily Graham makes ten million dollars. She buys her ancestral restored Victorian mansion which her family sold in 1892 after a 19-year-old relative disappears. A body of a missing girl from two years ago is now found with the finger with the sapphire ring from the missing girl from 1892 while digging for a pool on Emily’s property. Plus Emily is being stalked.
Patriot Games by Tom Clancy
Jack Ryan is a teacher who is involved in finding terrorists after saving the royal family from murder/kidnapping. Action packed.
Raven’s Wing by Joyce Carol Oates
This is a collection of eighteen short stories. Each story has a element to it that is uncomfortable to read and then uncomfortable to imagine as real. It’s written by an imaginative woman who can string absurdities and dysfunctions together better than most. For some quality summertime fun, read it
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
The story begins in Paris 1942; ten-year-old Sarah is taken with her parents by the French police who are arresting all Jewish families in the middle of the night. Sarah has hidden her young brother by locking him in a cabinet and vows to return to get him. She has the key. The story intertwines with an American journalist investigating the roundup sixty years later. This book is rich in intrigue and suspense. A real page-turner that will make you cry and remember long after you finish reading it.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Great book about the struggles with Alzheimer’s disease. Easy and emotional read.
The Teeth of the Tiger by Tom Clancy
Twin brothers are recruited for a private organization to eliminate terrorists. The men do what the government can’t do legally. Makes you wonder if this really does happen in real life.
A Thousand Country Roads: An Epilogue to The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Walter
I enjoyed reading about the main character from “Bridges…” BUT the author hints at things to happen, and they never do. So, although a good read, I was disappointed in the direction the story took. A decent, quick read.
Understanding Comics – The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
A truly remarkable book! I learned a lot about this art form, as well as the history of comics, and how pictures and words have evolved over the course of history. Don’t fool yourself – comics are not just for kids! A great read!
We Are Amused – A Royal Miscellany by Brian Hoey
I am a huge fan of Queen Elizabeth II. All that she accomplishes, every day, inspires me to do more. Therefore, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is laid out in an A to Z format. I learned a lot about how the British Parliament is run, along with fascinating facts about day-to-day life in the Royal household. This is not a “fluff” trivia book – there are many important facts here. Definitely worth a read if you’ve ever been interested in the British Royal Family.
We Rock! by Jason Hanley
A family friendly intro to Rock and Roll! I realized that today’s generation does not have the music variety on the radio that I grew up with. This book guides one from the early days of rock starting with the basics and takes it through the evolutions over the years. I enjoyed the quick biographies/facts and historical notes.
Where Are You Now? by Mary Higgins Clark
A girl beings to search for her brother who has been missing for ten years. This mystery of “who done it” has plenty of twists and turns trying to figure out if the brother is a victim or a serial killer. Excellent read, with very short chapters. I will definitely be reading more books by Mary Higgins Clark.
Without Remorse by Tom Clancy
There were different storylines leading to the same conclusion. John Kelly avenges the death of his lover. He shuts down a drug ring by killing those involved. In the middle of this, John attempts to rescue POW’s, but because there is a traitor in the Pentagon, the mission fails. The story tells of John’s experience, the police story of trying to solve the murders, the drug dealers organizing their sales, the POW struggling, the traitor’s story. There is a lot going on, but tied together nicely. I don’t like how John falls in love so fast with Doris.
Zoo by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
This book was science fiction/Jurassic Park which really made you think, what if all the animals on earth went wild and attacked people in huge herds? I could not put this book down because the intensity of the knowledge of another attack in the next chapter kept up the adventurous thrilling pace.