July 22, 2016

Book List

Indeed

Eight years ago, one of my Tai Chi students asked me to create a book list for her. She wanted a list of good books, fiction, and non-fiction, so she could explore authors she wasn't familiar with. She specifically asked that the choices be more family oriented, rather than dark or profane. I've passed the list out to several others, so I thought I'd post it here, too. - I updated the list to include four more great books.

Yes, I've read all of these.

Book List

109 East Palace Jennet Conant
700 Sundays Billy Crystal
A Three Dog Life Abigail Thomas
A Useful Dog Donald McCaig
Alex & Me Irene Pepperberg
Augusta Locke William Haywood Henderson
Bastard Out of Carolina Dorothy Allison
Behind the Scenes at the Museum Kate Atkinson
Belong to Me Marisa de la Santos
Big Sid's Vincati Matthew Biberman
Blind Your Ponies Stanley Gordon West
Chronicler of the Winds Henning Mankell
Coal Run Tawni O'Dell
The Color of Water James McBride
Coop Michael Perry
Dating Dead Men Harley Jane Kozak
Devil in the White City Erik Larson
Down Town Ferrol Sams
Dreams from my Father Barack Obama
Driftless David Rhodes
Evidence of Things Unseen Marianne Wiggins
Family Life Akhil Sharma
Forever Pete Hamill
Four Corners of the Sky Michael Malone
Friday Night Lights H. G. Bissinger
Good Grief Lolly Winston
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Jamie Ford
In the Shadows of the Sun Alexander Parsons
Irreplaceable Stephen Lovely
Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
Little Bee Chris Cleave
Love and Other Impossible Pursuits Ayelet Waldman
Love Walked In Marisa de los Santos
Marley and Me John Grogan
My Antoinia Willa Cather
One Thousand White Women Jim Fergus
Outcast United Warren St. John
Peace Like a River Leif Enger
Same Sweet Girls Cassandra King
Sky Bridge Laura Pritchett
Sky Burial Xinran
Some Horses Thomas McGuane
Some of Tim's Stories S.E. Hinton
Stargirl Jerry Spinelli
The Art of Racing in the Rain Garth Stein
The Color of Water James McBride
The Flying Troutmans Miriam Toews
The God of Animals Aryn Kyle
The Good Good Pig Sy Montgomery
The Guernsey Literary Mary Ann Shaffer
Potato Peel Pie Society Annie Barrows
The Day The World Came To Town Jim Defede
The Dog Stars Peter Heller
The Longest Trip Home John Grogan
The Memory of Running Ron McLarty
The Mighty Queens of Freeville Amy Dickinson
The Opposite of Love Julie Buxbaum
The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd
The Tender Bar J.R. Moehringer
The Undomestic Goddess Sophie Kensella
The Well and the Mine Gin Phillips
The Whistling Season Ivan Doig
Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson
The Life and Time of the Bill Bryson
Thunderbolt Kid, A Memoir
Turtle Warrior Mary Relindes Ellis
Undiscovered Country Lin Enger
Water for Elephants Sara Gruen
We Bought a Zoo Benjamin Mee


What are you reading?

July 10, 2016

June 2016 Reads


June 27 Everybody's Fool Richard Russo
28 I Refuse Per Petterson
29 My Name Is Lucy Barton Elizabeth Strout
30 A Great Reckoning Louise Penny
31 News of the World Paulette Jiles
32 A Drink Before the War Dennis Lehane
33 Prayers for Rain Dennis Lehane
34 Darkness, Take My Hand Dennis Lehane
35 Gone, Baby, Gone Dennis Lehane

As you can see, I re-read four Dennis Lehane books this month.  This reading took place while I was traveling.  Dennis Lehane tops my list of favorite authors.  I re-read the Kenzie and Gennaro series every couple of years.  I finished the series in July after I got home.

A Great Reckoning is the first book I've read by Louise Penny.  I heard her speak at Book Expo America this year, I liked what I heard and thought I'd give her book a read.  It was a great who-done-it.  Her writing was clear but kept me guessing.  I highly recommend this book.  It's the 12th in a series, and I bet they're all great.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles is a great read.  A 10-year-old girl, who was stolen by a Kiowa raiding party, needs to be returned to her only living relatives, and aunt and uncle she doesn't know.  The man for the job is Captain Kidd, (I kid you not!)  This tale is well written and seemed to be historically and geographically correct.  The characters are filled out and fully human.  I'm not going to give the story away, but I hope you'll read it when it's released in October 2016/

What are you reading?

June 12, 2016

April and May, 2016



Apr 16 The Legends Club John Feinstein
17 The Kind Worth Killing Peter Swanson
18 One in a Million boy Monica Wood
19 Tuesday Nights in 1980 Molly Prentiss
20 Dept. of Speculation Jenny Offill
May 21 Kill Switch Jonathan Maberry
22 All the Light We Cannot See Anthony Doerr
23 History of Wolves Emily Fridlund
24 December Boys Joe Clifford
25 Britt-Marie Was Here Fredrik Backman
26 Tell Me Three Things Julie Buxbaum




I really loved some of these books, those are the ones I'll recommend.

The Legends Club by Joh Feinstein is a must read for anyone who loves college basketball.  Feinstein knows sports and that's what he writes about.  This book covers Mike Krzyzewski. Dean Smith, and Jim Valvano. In the skillful hands of John Feinstein, this extraordinary rivalry, and the men behind it, come to life in a unique, intimate way.

One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood is a richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.  This is a quote from another author that I think sums this up, "this novel hums with energy, warmth, wisdom, humor, and soul." ~ Christina Baker Kline.

Kill Switch by Jonathan Maberry.  Maberry manages to blend SciFi, Horror, TechnoThriller and Crime all together in this latest installment of the Joe Ledger series.  It's a great, fast page-turner.


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr was an instant best seller, and justifiably so.  It took me awhile to jump on the bandwagon, but I was sorry I waited so long.  This quote, from the New Yorker, sums up why you should read it. “Intricate… A meditation on fate, free will, and the way that, in wartime, small choices can have vast consequences.”

December Boys by Joe Clifford.  I'm a huge Joe Clifford fan.  This is his third book and second novel.  He told me that his publisher has ordered five more Jay Porter sequels.  Read his books!

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman.  I'm also a huge fan of Backman.  This is his third novel.  He's a Swedish columnist, blogger, and writer.  His writing is funny, moving, observant and humane. I met him this year at Book Expo, and he was very funny in person, too.  I've read all his novels and I've been impressed with each one.  One of the hurdles of writers from other countries is having a great translator, and Backman has been very lucky with the translation of all his books.

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum was a great read.  I don't read a lot of YA, but wanted to see how Buxbaum did in this genre.  I'm not too proud to quote another author ~ “Three Things about this novel: (1) I loved it. (2) No, really, I LOVED it. (3) I wish I could tell every teen to read it. Buxbaum’s book sounds, reads, breathes, worries, and soars like real adolescents do.” —Jodi Picoult,  The target reader is 12 - 17-year-olds, but I think good writing is for all ages.  This is a good story with good writing.

What are you reading?

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