What I’ve Been Reading

I’ve been reading a lot of books this summer. Many so-so books but I thought I’d share some of the best.

A Yellow Raft in Blue WaterYellow raft cover by Michael Dorris. This was a nice surprise. Different than any other book I’ve read, this story is fresh and fast moving. The characters are three generations of native American women and the land they travel during the experiences.



quietgirlThe Quiet Girl by Peter Høeg. This was an excellent book that I should read again because I missed a lot of what was going on. It’s set in Denmark and is an adventurous story of nuns, gambling debt, a mysterious girl, intrigue and mysticism. It’s a book that sticks with you. The touch of humor was wonderful and the story rolled out in such an interesting way. Stick with it — it’s worth it.


uglyWonderfulAll the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. I read this for my book club and the reaction was strong on all sides. I loved it and thought the writing was superb. The topic may be upsetting to some because the main character in the book is a girl who has drug addicted dealers in middle America and not all her experiences are pretty.


riverDarknessA River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa. This is a free Kindle book and that is why I had this on my list to read. It’s a fast read and an incredible story. I had no idea the history of this area of the world. Well worth your time.
Let me know if you’ve read anything great lately. Happy reading.

— Namaste

What I’ve been reading

Here are a few books you may want to check out the next time you visit the library!

Lincoln_BardoLincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. If you aren’t familiar with the term bardo, in Tibetan Buddhism, it is known as the state between death and rebirth.  This is an imaginative story of President Lincoln visiting his young son Willie’s grave in his grief, told by the souls hanging around the cemetery still in the bardo. I loved this book because it was written in a way I’d never read before. I enjoyed it so much, I checked out Saunders book of short stories, The Tenth of December. What I realized is his style of writing is the same in everything he does and it became annoying as hell. Stick to his debut book and move on.

Secrets_Of_Charmed_LifeSecrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner. I really enjoyed this book. At first you may think, “not another WWII story,” but it gives a unique vantage point of a Emmy in England. It tells the story of her and her younger sister being evacuated to a foster family in the countryside even thought she dreams of becoming a fashion designer.


I_am_LegendI Am Legend by Richard Matheson. This was an OK book although it isn’t a genre I dig. I read this for my book club. It’s basically the last man on earth’s story and how he protects himself both physically and emotionally from the undead. Yes. It has zombies. I give three stars out of five, but if this your jam then you’ll love it. And hey, they did make a movie out of it.


I’d love to hear what you are reading.

— Namaste

What I’ve been reading

I haven’t posted about my reading for quite awhile so I have a lot to fill you in on. First, I made my Goodreads 2017 reading goal no problem. It wasn’t like in 2016 where I was reading every short 200 page book I could get my hands on in December. So my year was complete. 🙂

I’ve been trying to read much more because it really adds to my happiness. But enough about me. Let’s talk books.

Hand_toMouth_bookHand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado

This was published in Oct 2014 and I had heard the author interviewed on NPR. So many of her points rang true to me. The book came about because Tirado, a 32-year-old mother of two who worked two low-paying jobs, wrote a message in response to the question “Why do poor people do things that seem so self-destructive?” on an online forum. Her response went viral and was subsequently reprinted by The Huffington Post, The Nation, and Forbes, in November 2013. She then received 60,000 in donations to write the book. Check it out. It tells a story we all should hear.

The_Silkworm_bookThe Silkworm (Cormoran Strike Series #2)
by Robert Galbraith, J. K. Rowling

This is second in the series of mysteries JK Rowling wrote under a pseudonym. I enjoyed all three books but this was probably my least favorite of the three. Still, the writing is great and it moves fast.

pemberlyDeath Comes to Pemberley
by PD James

This book is a sequel to Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice.” It’s a murder mystery which I’m sure if you are a reader, you’ve heard about. I was told not to bother reading it but I’m so glad I did.  I liked falling back into the world of Pemberley.  When you’re finished, watch the British two-episode television show on Netflix.  It’s excellent.

baba_dunjasBaba Dunja’s Last Love
by Alina Bronsky

I read this book for my book club. While this is not a book you may have not heard of or would pick up, it’s worth the read.  The Serbian author wrote of an older, strong woman who returns to her hometown which happens to be near Chernobyl. There are warnings about radiation levels and misshapen forest fruits. Soon others move there with her. The book can be read in one or two sittings and is a thoughtful story.

Let me know what you’ve been reading.

— Namaste

Book Sharing

You know the stereotype of the Italian momma who feeds anyone who comes in the door and sends them home with food? In my family, it’s books that are sent home.

I recently visited my 86 year old mom and between her and my older sister, I was given at least 20 book titles of “MUST” read book suggestions.BooksFromCarroll

They both grabbed books off their shelves and wouldn’t take no for an answer.  I agreed to taking three home to add to my already high pile of “to read” books. The last — and only — John Grisham book I’ve read, was “The Firm” and was given to me by my mom back in the day.

Here are the books I scored this past visit. Tell me if they are worth reading.

UPDATE: I read, “Secrets of a Charmed Life,” and it was good. I very different point of view for WWII.

SecretsOfCharmedLifeSecrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meisser. Amazon’s description is . . .
Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades…beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden — one that will test her convictions and her heart.

1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, hundreds of thousands of children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed…

CaptiveCaptive by Brighton Walsh.  Brighton Walsh’s website says . . .

He’s the most dangerous man she’s ever met…and she’s falling in love with him.

Madison Frost is desperate to escape her life. Daughter of a prominent businessman, she has everything a girl could ask for. Except for a family who’s present in her life, and anyone to talk to outside the four walls of the prison she calls home. Madison dreams of one day leaving her life behind. She never thought being kidnapped is how it would happen.

Now she’s being held captive by a man who’s as frightening as he is sinfully gorgeous. Enormous, muscular, and filled with secrets, the man they call Ghost is an enigmatic mercenary, and Madison is trapped with him. She doesn’t know who hired him or why, but the more time she spends at his mercy, the more she realizes he’s not what he seems. Beneath his rough exterior lies an unexpected gentleness and a heart as broken and battered as her own.

But as Madison lets down her walls, Ghost holds tight to his, hiding secrets that could destroy everything.

CominoCamino Island by John Grisham. Goodreads says . . . A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.

Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.

Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.

— Namaste