Friday, July 25, 2014

July Reading List

1. I have had the hardest time this month coming up with a really great summer read. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle received such critical acclaim and was Oprah's Book Club selection and I thought it was an absolute torture. A modern day Hamlet that went on for what seemed like forever with a very unsatisfactory finish. Two stars only because there were some parts that were captivating and beautifully written in the beginning of the book.

2. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline was another 2 star bore. Heard lots of great things about this one also but felt it did not deliver. The history of the orphan trains is fascinating but this one did not stir much feeling in me. Sorry.

3. Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich- 2 stars. Okay, Janet. Please make it stop. There was nothing in the latest Stephanie Plum novel to distinguish it from the previous twenty. I keep saying that I am never going to read another one of these so I need to stick with that promise. Kind of like potato chips, it seems good while you are going through them, then after it's done you're like "what did I do that for?" 

4 A Short Guide to a Long Life by David Agus *** Lots of tips for a healthier daily lifestyle. Most of the ideas are common sense 101 but it is always good to get a gentle reminder to get back on track if you feel you have strayed some.

5. The Traitor's Wife by Allison Pataki **** Highly enjoyable historical fiction about Peggy Shippen, the wife of Benedict Arnold. We all know what happened with him.

6. Somerset by Leila Meachum 2-3 stars- An incredibly tiresome prequel to Roses (which I loved). The narrator had a whimpering, simpering Texas drawled treatment of the reading that made it even more difficult to enjoy.

7. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer 1-2 stars. Okay, enough with the Dystopian stories already. Especially ones that have no point whatsoever.

8. Pearl Harbor by Steven Gillon **** Behind the scenes account of what went down in the White House during the event and how FDR handled our entry into WWII. Very interesting and made more so to me since we just visited Pearl Harbor a couple of months ago.

9. The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman 4 stars. Excellent feel for the history of Coney Island, NY and the "freak shows" that were such draws on the Boardwalk during that period. The characters were well portrayed, it was incredibly sad how they were seen as animals with little or no sense or feelings.

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