A good book review by a trusted friend is essential, especially if you only have time to read one or two books a month. I hope this series of mine will help all the bookworms out there find some interesting titles. These volumes were selected by myself and members of my women's book club, who I trust completely, and enjoy spending time with once a month (if I don't see them around town.) If you have some good titles by or about women, let me know.
Feb. - Crossing the Creek, by Anna Lillios. A double biography about two Florida women authors, Zora Neale Hurston and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
March - The Tiger's Wife by Teo Obreht. A wonderful novel about a woman doctor who remembers her grandfather's stories after his death in the Balkans.
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Jan - Sophia Tolstoy, by Alexandra Popoff. A woman's look at how the wife of this famous Russian author lived in the 19th century.
Feb - A Severed Head, by Iris Murdoch. A very risqué book, written by an award winning British author. Short and easy to read.
March - Pearl Buck in China, by Hilary Spurling. An interesting book about Pearl Buck, especially in China. The author points out where the topics to Buck's books come from.
April - The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton. More than just a love story. Here's wonderful character development wrapped in an interesting fictional history of New York's well-to-do at the end of the 19th century.
May - Living History, by Hilary Clinton. If you didn't like Hilary before reading this book, you will definitely change your opinion. What a supporter of human rights, especially women and children.
June - The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards. A great story about a doctor and his wife who have twins. There are two families' lives that are followed, with a surprise ending.
Sept - The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. Not in my book club, but rave reviews from everyone. And they were right. Haven't seen the movie, hear there's a different ending in parts.
Dec - Louisa May Alcott: the woman behind Little Women, by Harriet Reisen. You don't have to be a big Alcott fan to enjoy the book. Fascinating woman and life.
___________________ 2010 _________________________________
Jan - The House at Sugar Beach, by Helene Cooper. Fantastic, slow beginning...
Feb - Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. My suggestion, read on vacation in Ireland. The story is set in the 17th century, about a housemaid in England during a year of plague.
March - Scarlet Sister Mary, written by Julia Peterkin, was a Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction in 1929.
April - The Woman behind the New Deal, written by Kirstin Downey. Great biography about Frances Perkins.
May - The Bonesetter's Daughter, by Amy Tan. Put this on my list to read, when Tan became a speaker at an annual convention I attended. It's great - yes, it did have a mother/daughter theme... and more!
June - I started this month The Artist's Way - A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. It's a 12-week program that will surprise anyone who "indulges." Spent the summer working with it, and developed a series on my blog every week.
August - Dorothea Lange : a life beyond limits, by Linda Gordon. An in-depth look at a 20th century artist's life, the photographer who "invented" documentary photography.
September - Passing Strange: a gilded tale of love and deception across the color line, by Martha A. Sandweiss. An interesting look at a famous man who lived two lives in the same city.
November - Wolf Hall: a novel by Hillary Mantel. Historical fiction focusing on Thomas Cromwell, who becomes one of the most powerful men in Henry VIII’s English court.
December - The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver. A historical novel using 20th century artists and writers in Mexico and America as a backdrop.
Chronological order (can't help myself, keeping things neat) from 2009:
January - The Plague of Doves, by Louise Erdrich.
February - Couldn't get into the book chosen for February - glad I didn't buy it! Read another book by Erdrich, The Master Butchers Singing Club and worth the read. The plot involves a love triangle, their families and friends, dealing with hardships after World War II in a small North Dakota town.
March - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. The subject is actually more serious than the title lets on.
April - we were treated to Virginia Woolf's, To the Lighthouse. Such a unique writer!
May - started Ladies of Liberty (by Cokie Roberts), but didn't finish. For vacation, though, I picked up a book that was set in the 17th century, about a housemaid in England during a year of plague, called Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. It was fantastic!
June - Home (by Marilynn Robinson). This was completely depressing, and I didn't get too far through it.
Our book club doesn't meet during the summer (July and August). Brooks is such a good author, I decided to read another one of her books, March, a Civil War historical fiction about the father figure in Little Women.
September - memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin, called Wait Till Next Year.
October and November (combined) - A Distant Mirror, by Barbara Tuchman. Sorry, too boring for me. Didn't make it half way - and that's not like me to put down a book!
December - Elizabeth Cody Staton : An American Life, by Lori Ginzberg. Nice to read a biography of a famous woman that isn't complete adoration.
December 2008 book: another eastern non-fiction the book club read was Scheherazade Goes West, by Fatema Mernissi.
November 2008 book: Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is an autobiography about a young Islamic woman from Africa.
Marketing and selling your handmade jewelry is a quick read on marketing, specifically designed for jewelry artists.
Just finish a novel by Senator Fred Harris, Following the Harvest, a coming of age story of a boy on a harvesting crew in 1943.
So many people are talking about August, Osage County that I decided to see what this Pulitzer Prize winning play was all about.
In July 2008, our book club didn't meet, but I read two great books Reading like a writer: a guide for people who love books and for those who want to write them by Francine Prose and The Widow's War by Sally Gunning.
June 2008 Book of the Month ** The far traveler: voyages of a Viking woman, by Nancy Marie Brown.
May 2008 Book of the Month ** Nuns: a history of convent life, by Silvia Evangelista