Did you know that this is National Reading Week? I wish every week was National Reading Week. I wish more people, especially women, made reading a priority. Some day we will hear that the Mayo Clinic or some other esteemed medical institution will declare that reading is as good for stress as exercise.
In honor of National Reading Week and Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2nd, here is my Top Books of 2011 post again. Go forth and read my friends and be sure to tell me when you find a good book.
My Top Book of 2011 is…
Ok, I could not choose just one so I chose three. Thus, my Three Top Books of 2011 are:
Exposure by Therese Fowler
The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain
The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy
These three couldn’t be more different but I loved each of them. Exposure is so relevant today with kids texting/sexting. Fowler does a masterful job of recreating Romeo and Juliet in 2011. A must read for anyone with kids. My review is here.
The Midwife’s Confession is a mystery, something I would not typically pick up. It is SO fabulous. The character development is so good- I couldn’t put it down. My review is here.
The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy is a World War II novel set in the British Channel Islands. Leroy’s depiction of a romance between a German soldier and a local woman is both believable and heart wrenching I loved this book! My review is here.
My other favorites of 2011 (in alphabetical order so no insecure authors or publishers can read into the order) are:
All Different Kind of Free by Jessica McCann- Oh what a book! A true story, McCann masterfully details the life of a free black woman in the 1830′s who is captured and accused of being a runaway slave. You literally are turning the pages as fast as possible to see what happens with Margaret and Jerry. A must read! My review is here. And, Jessica’s guest post is here.
The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin- 468 pages of great reading! The American Heiress is loosely based upon the story of Consuela Vanderbilt marrying the Duke of Marlborough. It is set in Newport, Rhode ISland and in England. It reads like F. Scott Fitzgerald got together with Penny Vicenzi, Edith Wharton and Jane Austen to collaborate on it. My review is here. A wonderful read!
Best Kept Secret by Amy Hatvany- This is my #GR8books Book Club pick for January 26th. An incredibly believable story of one mother’s descent into alcoholism and her recovery. A great read. My review is here. You still have plenty of time to read it before January 26th! Amy’s guest post is here.
The Bungalow by Sarah Jio– This book comes out on December 27th so it snuck in on my favorites of 2011. It is a World War II tale set in the Pacific. While this book is a romance, it is serious fiction and exceedingly well-written. This book makes you want to run down the beach and meet your beloved in that bungalow. A few quotes from the book-
“You can never play a part in life, especially not in love.” “The beauty of the island wasn’t limited to its turquoise waters or green hills. That was mere surface beauty. The real awe of the place was evident in its stories. There was one waiting beyond every curve of the shore.”
Sarah’s guest post is here.
Plume provided a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon- The best thing about this book is that it is NON-FICTION but reads like a fast paced novel. The book is the story of Kamela, a female entrepreneur during Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Gayle Tzemach Lemmon dedicates the book to “All those women whose stories will never be told.” We are lucky Lemmon is available to tell us these stories. My review is here. Gayle’s guest post is forthcoming- right, Gayle?
The End of Normal by Stephanie Madoff Mack- I recently finished this book, written by the daughter-in-law of Bernie Madoff. It was nothing like what I expected. Mack’s husband committed suicide as a result of the Madoff scandal. Stephanie Madoff Mack is not a spoiled rich girl as you might expect. She is a widow with two kids who needs to find a way to live, despite her husband’s suicide and his family’s crime. A few quotes-
”Both Bernie and Ruth infuriate me now, but honestly, when I looked at the two of them back then, I hoped to have the same kind of of marriage someday with their son.” Of Bernie Madoff, she writes, “His soul simply lacked the square footage for ego and emotion to comfortably coexist.” “Mark was the fourth known suicide linked to Bernie’s crime.”
I am glad I read this book though I ached for Mack and her children.
Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros- A wonderful read. What starts out like a light book with witty banter on Twitter turns into a modern day romance with serious drama attached. The book channels You’ve Got Mail. Loved, loved, loved it as has everyone I know who has read it. My review is here. Teresa’s guest post is here.
How To Be An American Houswife by Margaret Dilloway- A wonderful book! I just found out that Dilloway has a new book coming out in 2012 which I cannot wait to read. The story of a Japanese woman who marries an American man right after Nagasaki, the book has exceptional character development. You literally feel the relationship between the husband and wife. The writing is excellent. My review is here.
A Summer in Europe by Marilyn Brant– Such a great read! This book channels my favorite movie, Room With A View, so I loved it. It is witty and deep, all at the same time! The characters are truly that, total characters. Brant’s ability to make you love the quirky makes this a fabulous book. Marilyn’s guest post is here.
What are you reading and where are you going?