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A Month of Reading: March 2017

I finished 8 books in the month of March and that makes it a good month of reading, for sure.

The Yarn Whisperer by Clara Parkes
4 stars
Knitting is life and life is knitting. That is all but that is enough.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
5 stars
A difficult but necessary read, this certainly lives up to the hype. As so many others have said, this one will stay with me for a long time.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles
5 stars
Beautiful writing and the story is full of promise and hope. Exciting in parts, quiet and speculative in others, this book made me want to sit down and drink a pot of tea with Captain Kidd and Johanna.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
3 stars
I want to give this book 5 stars because of the subject and the author’s note at the end but I’m only giving it 3 because it could have been so much more. The story is good and it moved along quickly and some of the writing is really eloquent but I had a hard time reconciling the outcome for one of the characters with the personality the author spent so much time developing. I won’t say more and I do recommend it for those who enjoy YA and who want to ponder teen suicide and mental illness.

The Girls by Emma Cline
2 stars
I expected to love this book and it just fell flat for me. The writing is pretentious and there are way too many descriptions of bad food and dirty people, gross sheets and awkward sex, I was uncomfortable for a lot of the time I was reading it. I could get over that, though, if the story was engaging and the characters believable. Instead I felt like nothing happened for a really long time and then a BIG thing happened and the book ended. Way too much build up and not enough pay off for me. Not recommended.

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
5 stars
I adored this book. The writing is lovely and the story of the lifelong friendship between two married couples is lifelike and wonderful. The time frame, the setting (mostly Vermont and Wisconsin) and the philosophical and moral issues faced by the characters all come together in a perfect way. Highly recommended.

The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich
4 stars
The writing is beautiful but I did have a hard time keeping track of the story line and characters at times. Still, totally worth reading, especially for the last 20 pages or so.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman
4 stars
Very readable, I think I’d describe this as Alice Hoffman Lite since it just doesn’t have the depth that most of Hoffman’s books have. It’s a very good story of hope and redemption, though, and a fast read.

Eight books, mostly all very good. What have you been reading lately?

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Great reviews Carole. Stegner is one of my favorite authors – loved Crossing to Safety and another great one by him is The Angle of Repose. I too loved News of the World. I read The Underground Railroad – had a difficult time getting through it – some of it was so horrible, but some of it just bored me. But, glad I read it. I’ll have to look for the Louise Erdrich and Alice Hoffman books. Thanks!

    Oh, and I was reading Year of Miracles (Geraldine Brooks) which I liked, but again I slowed down reading (maybe it’s me and not the books???).

  2. I don’t even like seeing The Girls next to Crossing to Safety! I’m currently in a bit of a book slump; I’ve started several things, but I haven’t yet found the one that best suits my mood. Maybe Angle of Repose …

  3. You are right on about The Girls. It was tedious and boring and the main character was implausible. You are motivating me to reread Crossing to Safety. I didn’t like it when I first read it, but it sometimes a really good read is just not what you needed at the time.

  4. Oh, you’ve got some of my favorite reads on your list! And, as I’ve already expressed, Wallace Stegner is one of my favorite authors of all time. Crossing to Safety is fabulous — but I think Angle of Repose is even better. 🙂 I just finished Exit West and it was excellent.

  5. I haven’t read anything good lately. I’m so tired of books that are just meh.

    So I’m reading Belichick and Brady by Michael Holley. I like his writing style a lot.

  6. Stegner and Erdich are two of my favorites and I’ve read much of their work. How cool is it that Whitehead won the Pulitzer!?

  7. Wow, some great reads in your month! And, I see a few that I want to read as well! I am reading a mystery by an unknown (to me) author. It could end badly, but I will wait and see!

  8. What a nice pile of books! Wallace Stegner is still on my TBR – and seeing a 5-star recommendation from you moves him up a bit closer to the top!

  9. What a great list (and review). I just read The Kitchen House, I do not recommend it but now I’m going to read The
    Underground Railroad, I’m looking forward to a great book.
    (Also I love Wallace Stegner, thanks for reminding me. Have you read Angle of Repose ? So good)

  10. I love your book posts! Call me tardy to the party because I just listened to my first Ann Patchett…The Patron Saint of Liars. I really enjoyed it! I want to read Commonwealth, but there is a long wait at the library for it. Thank you for sharing with us!

  11. I’m reading Loving Frank which I’m enjoying. Just finished The Girl You Left Behind for book club and liked it. You’ve given me some good suggestions

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