March has been a good reading month!! Read 12 books in a variety of genres and the majority were good. I was heavy on Historical Fiction this month but they were fascinating!!
4 Star Reads
Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian -Think this was my favorite book this month!! It was a night of celebration that goes horribly, horribly wrong!! A bachelor party in an upscale home with Russian sex slaves taking the place of the dancers ends with death, broken trust, and lives that will never be the same. Infinitely readable it is a story of how a single choice can change your life.
Originals by Adam Grant – NonFiction Wow!!! This was neck in neck to be my favorite read of the month!! It was fascinating & thought provoking & motivating & frustrating & life changing!! All components of what makes an excellent nonfiction book. It challenges you to think about your life & reshape it. Full of examples & practical tips for how to be original.
Sisi by Allison Patali – Historical Fiction Wonderful!! This transports you to Sisi’s world and the suffocating constraints she lives under while at court. She longs for a relaxed, full life with love & her children but ad Empress of Vienna it is not to be & she must snatch those moments when & where she can.
The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro – Historical Fiction Wow!! Powerfully weaves the life of Alizee Benoit, an artist in 1940s New York, with her niece, Danielle, who is searching for information about Alizee and her art. Moving, beautiful, and disturbing as the reality of life for Jews in Europe collides with the political and art scene of New York. It leaves you asking what would you do for family? Could not put it down!!!
The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende – Historical Fiction Love, loneliness, survival, and family are at the center of this beautiful story. Alma is a senior citizen still living on her own terms & even her family doesn’t know the true story of her life. Piece by piece her grandson and a young woman Alma has taken under her wing uncover the story of her life & Japanese lover.
All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani – Historical Fiction The glamor and intrigue of Old Hollywood told through the eyes of a young Italian girl who is assistant to Loretta Young. Family, love, and loyalty mingles with gossip, secrets and heartbreak.
Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben – Mystery/Adventure Another edge of your seat, takes you a while to figure it out thriller from Harlan Coben. Maya, a former special-ops pilot, seems to be surrounded by death but why? What is real & what is illusion & who can she trust? Now murdered husband? Drunk brother-in-law? Nanny? Best friends? Husband’s family? As she looks into the deaths she discovers all is not what it seems. Quick read with twists & turns to keep you guessing!!!
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – Historical Fiction What would you do to survive? When your world is falling a part and you are all alone will you be strong enough to do the unthinkable and live to tell about it? Set in France during World War II this is the story of sisters that have never quite connected and their fight to survive in a world of horror.
Secrets of A Charmed Life by Susan Meissner – Historical Fiction Family is everything but what would you do if a choice you made changes everything for those you love? How could you go on? Emmy has been everything to her younger half-sister Julie, watching her her when her mother is working but when London is bombed during World War II Emmy feels trapped between childhood & adulthood. When they are evacuated to the countryside Emmy’s dream of a career in wedding dress design seems out of reach. And a choice she makes changes the future.
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald Books are everything to Sara & lead her to visit Broken Wheel Iowa. When she arrives but finds Broken Wheel & her host are dying. Not knowing what else to do she finds a way to share books and life.
3 1/2 Star Read
At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier – Historical Fiction Do you ever read a really well written book & finish it & ask yourself did I like it? That’s how I feel about this book? I could clearly see the apple orchard and the swamp and the hard scrabble life but I didn’t like any of the characters. But it wasn’t a book I considered not finishing because it was well written. I would give it 3 1/2 stars
PrePublication Galley Read
Grayling’s Song by Karen Cushman – Middle Grade Fantasy By doing what must be done Grayling travels far from her home gathering others with magic in order to find her mother’s book of spells and free her from a spell. Strength, courage, and doing what needs to be done even when full of fear is the heart of this book.