Thursday, April 30, 2009

April Reads

I finished six books in April, including one really long one. I also listened to most of an audiobook.

Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues #3 by Donald Soboll 04/02/09
Good - Childrens (999 Category: Nostalgia)
The amazing boy detective solves 10 mysteries.
I read all the Encyclopedia Brown books when I was a kid. I read this one aloud to my kids.

The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life by Pam Grout 04/13/09
Good - Non-fiction (999 Category: 9 and Counting)
100 Unforgettable possibilities for travel, divided into artsy getaways, volunteer vacations, learning retreats, and wellness escapes
I expected more from this book than I got. Seemed very politically correct. But my favorite ideas were: Assington Mill book binding & restoration class, sketchbook class with, a variety of writers workshops, Plein air painting with, research bottle nose dolphins, Italian art, safari surf school in Costa Rica, ride horses to Machu Picchu's neighbor site, cycle through the Austrian Alps, water sports in Fiji, bike across Cuba

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Starting a Reading Group
by Patrick Sauer 04/22/09
Good - Non-fiction (999 Category: Literacy)
Conveniently organized guide to starting and running a book club covers topics like who to invite, what to read, and where to meet. Lots of book lists on many topics.
I thought this would be useful since we are doing a book club kind of by the seat of our pants. But the bulk of this book is reading selections in a variety of genres and I can find that information anywhere.

Daniel Deronda
by George Eliot 04/24/09
Good - Classic (999 Category: Vintage Volumes)
Gwendolen Harleth is young, beautiful, and spoiled and finds herself inexplicably drawn to Daniel Deronda, the ward of a rich British aristocrat.
This was our book club selection for the month and it was HARD to get through, but worthwhile. The sheer length of the novel is daunting, as well as the intricate sentence structure and heavy vocabulary, but the story shines. The last 100 pages were filled with twists and turns suited for any modern novel despite it being written in the 1870's. The movie (starring Hugh Dancy and Romola Garai) was good too, but changed quite a bit of the book's storyline.

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond 04/28/09
Good - Childrens (999 Category: Nostalgia)
A bear from Darkest Peru comes to live with a proper British family in London.
Another book I remember fondly from my childhood. Paddington's irrepressible personality is just as charming as I remember. The three younger kids were enthralled with this one. I highly recommend it as a read-aloud! There are a bunch more Paddington books that I'll look for at the library.

The Grand Finale by Janet Evanovich 04/29/09
Good - Romance (999 Category: Kindred Spirits)
Berry runs a pizza place and meets Jake while delivering pizza. A very funny romance.
I needed something light and really fluffy after reading Daniel Deronda. Saw this Evanovich at the library and snatched it up. Janet Evanovich wrote a few romance novels before authoring the Stephanie Plum series. I'd read a couple others and they were nice, but this was sweetly romantic and hilariously written. I could see shades of Grandma Mazur in one of the characters and cars kept getting stolen. LOL Nice to read when in need of something frothy or when Finger Lickin' Fifteen is still two months away from release!

A Thousand Splendid Suns (audiobook) by Khaled Hosseini 5-1-09
Good - Fiction (999 Category: 9 and Counting)
Two very different women's lives intersect in 20th century Afghanistan.
OK, I haven't exactly finished this one, but I need to finish it tout suite so I am putting it down. I am listening to the audiobook and it's very compelling. The characters are sharply drawn and the story is horrifying. How can stuff like this happen in the modern world? Well, it can if the Taliban governs your city. The narrator seems to be an Afgani woman and her performance makes the story even more poignant. (No, I haven't read The Kite Runner, but I plan to.)


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