First of all, a bit of housekeeping:
I've been nominated (by myself, don't get all up in my bidness - but I was encouraged to nominate those, so there! - wow, did I just get cranky!) to speak as a Voices of the Year at the BlogHer Conference for two posts. I would really, really love to read one of these posts. IF and only IF you liked them, and think that they would be a good piece to read to a wider audience - would you consider voting? Post #1 is the one that talks about the trip to the mall with my son and Post #2 is about having faith. You can read both of them before you vote. Please and thank you and you look so very pretty today.
Item the second: I did a car review for my good friend Chris and it's live here. It's only the second car review I've done, so be kind.
Now, on to the show.
Books I've read lately, and my thoughts on them - this is probably going to be long, so I'm going to use the "read more" click through option that some of you don't like. I'm super sorry in advance. It just seems to be a gigantic wall of text.
I read a lot, y'all.
And the way I can read so much? Well, you should see the pile of paperwork sitting here on my desk. I work. I cook. I clean. I do laundry. I care for the shorties (maybe that should have come first...)
And then I read. I don't watch TV, unless it's Downton Abbey, Call The Midwife or Funeral Boss (man, do I love that show.)
I just - read.
The Charm School (Nelson DeMille) - probably one of my favorite books. I am not typically a spy novel person, but the premise of this - that our POW's from the Vietnam War were traded to Russia and forced to train the Russian soldiers to become American Impersonators - sent shivers down my spine. It was an awesome book 5 stars out of 5.
Columbine (Dave Cullen) - the story of the Columbine shooting, carefully pieced together from reports and interviews. I haven't finished this one yet - I'm finding it fascinating, but so dark at times that I have to stop. I think we need to completely rewire how we deal with people who have mental illness. 4 out of 5 stars.
The Kid (Dan Savage) - I have no idea how I got on this book. It was at times a bit too much - I'm not super interested in reading details of sex, gay or straight - but I was rooting for the two of them to get a baby all the way through the book. A super interesting read on a world I know little about - adoption. 4 stars out of 5.
Instant Mom (Nia Vardalos) - I LOVE Nia Vardalos. LOVED her in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and love her to this day. She's so down to earth I often feel (erroneously) that we could be friends in real life. This was another adoption story, and it got me from the beginning and didn't let go. I was caught up in all of it - would they get a baby? Would the little girl talk? Would it all work out? 5 stars out of 5, stay up late reading.
War Bride Club (Soraya Lane) - this was a cheap book that I stumbled across and downloaded because the premise was good. WWII is my favorite period of history, and War Brides have held a place in my interest for a long while. What made women mary men they'd only known briefly, and then they shipped off? What was it like for them? This followed the lives of 4 women. It was good, but not amazing. 3 out of 5 stars.
The Storyteller (Jodi Picoult) - I love a good book, and Jodi Picoult usually obliges. This one wasn't quite as good as some of her others, but it was still good. The main character avoids people, due to an accident that left her scarred. When she meets and older gentleman, his story shocks her - and when she hears the full extent of his life, and what he asks of her - it really got good. It was a bit confusing, as the story switched between voices, and one voice was a much better read than the others. 4 stars out of 5.
This is Where I Leave You (Jonathan Trooper) - Judd's wife has an affair and their marriage breaks up. Judd's dad dies and his final request is that the entire, somewhat disjointed and unconventional, family - sit shiva. Very funny, touching and, at some times, sentimental. 4 stars out of 5.
Between Shades of Gray (Ruta Sepetys) - Not "The book", but something totally different. This book was at times horrifying, touching, shocking and heartfelt. Parts of it made my stomach turn. The story of a 15 year old Lithuanian girl who is taken as a prisoner of war during WWII and forced to work in Siberian Labor camps, this book stayed with me for a long time after I finished it. 5 stars out of 5, but a tough read.
Gun Machine (Warren Ellis) - a mystery - why are there so many guns stacked high in a NY apartment, and how are they all connected to murders? Whose apartment is it? Who is the murderer? Who will die next? A bit gory, a bit scattered, a bit too many coincidences - but still entertaining. 3 out of 5 stars.
Touch and Go (Lisa Gardner) - I love this author, and this was a good read, although not one of her best. A family disappears, and Tessa Leoni has to solve the crime. They were the perfect American Family, and they disappeared without a trace, with no ransom demands, leaving all cell phones on the counter. Who took them? Why are they in an abandoned prison? I was pleased that I was able to figure it out by the end. 3.5 starts out of 5.
Wife 22 (Melanie Gideon) - The main character is bored in her marriage, and she decides to take part in an anoymous marriage survey - she is given the name Wife 22 for anonymity. It's a bit of a twist at the end, but somewhat predictable. 3 stars out of 5.
A Midwife's Story (Penny Armstrong) - the tale of a midwife to the Amish, I thoroughly enjoyed both the birth stories and the lessons on Amish life. 4 out of 5 stars.
There! Go find a good book -and what can you recommend for me?