Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Last 10, Plus One

This week's Ten on Tuesday topic is The 10 Last Books You Have Read. Luckily for me, Goodreads is one of the few places where I manage to stay up-to-date and organized, so this one should be easy. Including what I'm currently reading, my books are:

1.   The Golem and the Jinni - I'm reading (actually listening to) this one after Carole convinced me with her review. I was a little hesitant because the story sounds so different (almost odd!) but it's really wonderful so far.

2.   The Green RoadAnother current read, this Irish family saga is a pre-publication copy I was lucky enough to win through First Reads. I would probably be done with it if The Golem and the Jinni hadn't captured my attention so well.

3.   Better Than Before - A nonfiction book, that, while not bad, didn't really teach me anything I didn't already know. I need to stop thinking that new self-help books are going to solve all my problems and bad habits.

4.   Unless - A successful writer's oldest daughter drops out of college to become a panhandler, sitting on a street corner with a sign around her neck bearing the word "Goodness". I read this one in search of some parental insights. I don't know that I came away with any answers, but it did raise questions, which can also be a good thing.

5.   Hausfrau - Ugh! This is definitely not the book for me. I honestly couldn't even finish it (and I rarely abandon a book) after I grew weary of a protagonist intent on self-destruction of her decent life, without any desire to change herself or her circumstances. On the plus side, the cover is beautiful.

6.   The Martian - Science fiction with lots of science! MacGyver on Mars! I found the book fun, entertaining, and enjoyable. Some of the writing is adolescent, and if you're looking for evocative prose, a beautiful, complex story, character development, and introspection, I'm afraid you won't find it in this book, but you will find a compelling adventure.

7.   A Fatal Grace - This is the second in the Armand Gamache mystery series, and I liked it even more than the first. I've got the third and fourth books ready to go when The Golem and the Jinni release their hold on me.

8.   Station Eleven - Post-apocalyptic fiction is not my favorite, but the author managed to intertwine both the pre- and post- worlds in a well-written, thoughtful, and unique way. 

9.   The Shipping News - This was a reread for me, and I was thrilled to find that The Shipping News is one of the few books that stands up well to a reread and is even better than I had remembered!

10. If I Loved You, I Would Tell You ThisThis book illustrates some of the difficulties I have reading and rating a volume of short stories. Some of these stories are very, very good (the title story) and some are very much less so.

11. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend - This picture book is the 2015 Caldecott Medal winner, and I loved it so much that I had to include it as a bonus #11. I won't bore you with all my thoughts here in case picture books for children 3-6 years old aren't your thing, but you can take a look at my review if you're interested. It's possible that I may have ordered a copy for myself.

So, what are some of the last books you've read? I'd love to hear about them, good, bad, or in between!


  1. Ok, you have convinced me: Golem and Jinni it will be for my future #10.

  2. I'm so glad you are enjoying The Golem and the Jinni! There are others on your list I have read (loved Station Eleven!) and some great suggestions for future reads, too.

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful reviews, which help me make decisions about a couple of books on my TBR list.

  4. Shipping News . . . one of my Favorite Books of All Time (and it just gets better with each re-read!) (My former book group used to use Shipping News as the gauge to accept new members. If they loved it, they were in; if they didn't? Forget it!) We read many of the same titles, Bonny!

  5. I have never heard of these, but they sound interesting.

  6. You've given me a lot to consider here! Especially #11! The Shipping News and Golem and the Jinni have just jumped to the the top of the queue!

  7. I think The Golem and the Jinni is the book my book club is reading next month. The description does sound a little odd so I am glad to hear some good reviews!

  8. I've got The Golem and the Jinni queue'd up - hoping it will fit a square on the BotNS Bingo this summer. Your review of The Martian is spot on (maybe I should've counted that for my "guilty pleasure". hank you for checking out Hausfrau; I suspected it might not be worthwhile for me - and I think I was right!

  9. I really enjoyed The Golem and the Jinni...I listened to it as well. It reminded me of The Night Circus in the atmosphere of the story.

    Now I must look for Beekle...Love children's literature and my family claim to fame was that I had an imaginary friend. ;)

  10. wow you're a machine!! i'm adding a few of these to my list for sure!

  11. I envy you just starting the Louise Penny series! I'm impatiently waiting for the new one to come out this year (I hope it will be this year)! There have only been two books in the series that I was not that crazy about, but read them anyway of course!

    Linda in VA


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