2015 books

new year. more books.

january 2015

1. will grayson, will grayson by john green ... i read this because my oldest had and told me she loved it ... and i've read most of jg's books ... and loved them ... two boys named will grayson find each other .... it's all improbable and lovely and about self acceptance and and a huge guy named tiny .... it's YA fiction and i appreciate that it is teaching the reader to love each other not in spite of their differences but because of those differences.

2. the sock wars. by maia sepp .... this book was quite sad .... about a woman coping with grief and in a relationship that gets accelerated by an inheritance .... quite well done ... a find your true self message.

3. om yoga, a guide to daily practice by cyndi lee. a gift from my oldest. i'm better at reading about yoga than doing it. nice book though.

4. 50 places to bike before you die. by chris santella ... another christmas gift from my oldest. i've read this twice now. once a carefree browse. once a serious learn and plan reading. beautiful photos and ideas. daydreams in a book. need to add some of the spots to my bucket list.

5. the life changing magic of tidying up by marie condo. this is a trendy book right now. i read about it in the nytimes ... and a couple other mag articles online .... the japanese author has led a life obsessed with tidying and now has a system .... it was actually an entertaining read for a self help book on cleaning! ..... and now i'm working on tidying my art studio ... i'm not doing the right order or method prescribed, but using some of the notions .... i'll letcha know on the life changing bit.
EDIT: side note here in late december... a friend asked to borrow this book and .. um.. i can't find it .. so much for the tidying ... or did i toss it cause it didn't give me joy or i was done with it ... not sure.

6.clan of the cave bear by jean auel. i read this series when they came out 20 or 30 years ago ...and am enjoying them again ... plan to do the whole series this year.

7. the valley of the horses by jean auel. i remembered some of the story from when i read it 30ish years ago ... but some of it was brand new. it is very detailed. jean fuel really did a good job of research and creating an entire world.


8. one plus one by jojo moyes. for my new book club. i picked it! i loved her other book, you before me, so i knew i liked the author. this was no different. it is an easy read ... but full of interesting story lines... and happily ever after..... the title is actually perfect to me. there's a math prodigy in the book ... plus the you plus me sort of one plus one.

9. an invisible thread:the true story of an 11 year old panhandler, a busy sales executive and an unlikely meeting with destiny ... wow, is that an unwieldy title! ... by laura schroff..... true story ...though i think, in the way of many current authors, much of the "truth" is imagined. she's not telling just her own story ... so some of the story of the 11 year old is extrapolated from what she knows... but besides that, the book is great ... a little heart breaking ... a little bit of a pat on her own back ... but still a great read.

10. poemcrazy:freeing your life with words by woolridge. saw this in my niece's room at christmas time ... started it .. then got one for myself. love it.

11. writing poetry. by drake. like, not love. but worthwhile. felt a bit of a slog ... but i skimmed the slog and learned stuff too.

12. the writer in all of us by june gould. a book gift from a friend. i know i have a writer in me. i just don't know what to do with her ... besides blog posts, Facebook statuses, and lengthy emails to my friends and family.

13. the mammoth hunters by jean auel ... more in the children of the earth series .... ayla and jondalar start traveling back to his home ... but are waylaid for ayla to be courts by a man from the mammoth hunters .... even in the stone ages, couples had poor communication skills .... a bit more soap opera than the first two ... but a nice community to learn about ....

14. plains of passage by jean auel ... number 4 in earth's children .... jondalar and ayla are traveling from the mammoth hunters' homeland to jondalar's ... good story telling. it helps that i love these characters so much.

15. shelters of stone by jean auel... my reading numbers are going to be low this year ... cause these books are all super long... but i am so happy to be reading them again after 20 or 30 years .... ayla makes it jondalar's home .... and she, whinny, racer, and wolf are rockstars and everyone wants to get to know them ... and ayla just wants to have a baby.  i wonder if i would love these books now if i didn't remember them so fondly from my olden days.

16.landline by rainbow rowell .... i wanted to love this book ... rainbow wrote eleanor and park, which i LOVED ... but this one was a little hokey, corny, lite .... i read the whole thing (which means it's good... i don't finish books if i don't like them ...) ..... but it didn't meet my rainbow expectations...

17. the girl on the train by paula hawkins ... this was suggested to me as similar to gone girl. well. it's not. i wanted it to be that twisted and heart pounding and intense .. instead .... a girl going back and forth and back and forth on a train .... a character in a downward spiral so i just didn't like her that much ... and though i was supposed to wonder if she was a murderer, i didn't care too much. and all the other characters that i was supposed to wonder if they were murderers ... i was ok if they were or weren't. i'm not sure if my neutral feelings on this book are because my hopes were so high ... if i'd read this with no preconceived notion would it have been better? probably. however, i didn't think the characters were that intriguing ... however. big however. the ending was excellent. so i slogged through it for my book club friends (book club 2) and was well rewarded by an exciting ending with some more ambiguities to make you think and wonder ... and have plenty to talk about at book club.

18. dear everybody by michael kimball .... so ... i love diary books ... or books that are letters ... i read diary of anne frank ... and daddy longlegs probably fifty times each as a kid .... and this is a book of letters ... letters from a man who commits suicide ... that is not a spoiler .... it is sad but very, very funny .... short book, fast read, so unique.

19. rapture practice by aaron hartzler.... a kid is raised by super fundamentalists and starts to doubt his own faith ... and the faith they are inflicting on him ....i enjoy books about religious self  reflections (especially amish ones) .... this one skews to young readers but i quite liked it.....

20. whistling in the dark by lesley kagen ... i think lots of adults don't like reading books written from a child's perspective or about a child ... but i always do ... and i loved this one especially .... a mystery ... with some child abandonment .... and quirky outlooks from two kids....

21. still alice by lisa genova .... heart breaking story of early onset alzheimers .. oh my goodness.. such an EXCELLENT book.


22. deadcase in deadwood ... number 3 in the deadwood series by ann charles... fun read... like the others in the series....

23. book 6 in the jean auel series: the land of painted caves. i loved every bit of this one... and all six in the series. and now i'm a little begriefed that they are done. i loved them.

24. when i found you by catherine ryan hyde .... sweet book. an infant abandoned. the man who found him... really saved him .... and how their lives intertwined.... very good.

25. the boys in the boat. by daniel james brown...  nine americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 berlin olympics ... that was hitler's olympics ... in germany ... when i was a child it was famous to me because of jesse owens ... now there's a story! .... this story was a bit heavy on crew information ... some interesting... some tedious .... i liked when the story delved deep into personal narratives ... but a lot of it was not that.

26. a roll of blue thread by anne tyler. i have read everything anne tyler has published. i love her. i adore her quirky characters and oddball stories ... this one started slower than any i can recall ... but by the end i had fully bought into all of the characters and wanted to know more .... so ... slow to pick up steam ... but not disappointing .... good book.


book 27! insight guides to iceland .... trying to plan a trip.

28.. seven icelandic short stories ... various authors ... inexpensive kindle book

29. tales of iceland: running with the huldfolk in the permanent daylight by stephen markley .... a light, fun travel book ... major teenage boy humor (that apparently isn't outgrown into some adulthood) .... but quite fun, funny and even informative.

30. a discovery of witches by deborah harkness... i LOVE this and am so happy to found a series to read ... i love witches!

31. habit stacking:97 small life change that take five minutes or less ... quick read ... not really anything that you don't know ... but lots that you don't do ... but could ....

32. glitter and glue by kelly corrigan .... mostly set in australia ... which made me love it more ... a young woman living her life and hearing her mother's words as her inner voice ... her mom's long ago wisdom that hadn't been appreciated comes back with new meaning ....


what's a witch to do, midnight magic mystery
werewolf sings the blues, midnight magic mystery
witch upon a star, a midnight magic mystery
... all by jennifer harlow ... werwolves and witches and vampires .... good stories....  nice character development with light easy stories ....

36,37,38,39,40...all by jennifer harlow
mind over monster, a freak squad investigation book 1
to catch a vampire, a freak squad investigation book 2
death takes a holiday, a freak squad investigation book 3
high moon, freak squad investigation book 4
.... good series ... the supernatural fbi division that takes care of non human problems .... i was quite fond of many of the characters .... was sad it ended.

41,42... all by jennifer harlow
justice, galilee falls trilogy, book 1
gallilee rising, gallilee falls trilogy, book 2 ... supernatural superheroes ... with joanna starring, sort of, as the antihero .... great stories ... waiting for #3 ....
i really enjoyed this binge of j.harlow books ... i loved them all .... makes me wonder if she has books inside her waiting to get out that aren't about supernatural beings ... or if all her books have vamps and witches?

43....go set a watchman by harper lee.
i was prepared to dislike this book based on press and the issues surrounding harper lee's advanced age and how the book became published, perhaps against her wishes .... but i LOVED it ... really enjoyed it.... the best parts of it were of the stories of scout's childhood .... i can imagine harper lee taking the book to a publisher and them saying write a different book with more kids bits ... like that backyard baptism scene .... so she kept the characters and made them more/different/purer .... but this was nitty gritty good. loved it.

44... to kill a mockingbird by harper lee .... cause i felt like i should after the last one. excellent book.

45...a dramatically different direction by margaret mann ... a memoir .... by a woman that a friend knows ... a self described old, biracial, lesbian buddhist in a wheelchair .... very interesting .... would never have imagined the crazy hoops that someone in a wheelchair is meant to jump through to get help.


46....how to start a fire by lisa lutz.... very good book ... found it hard to follow/get into at the beginning but then truly loved it .... anna, kate and george .. three girlfriends with more than their fair share of problems .... the author has the events non chronologically ... so there are mysteries, bits left out ... that the reader finds out later .... i wonder if the author wrote it chronologically and then rearranged it for some intrigue.

47, 48......by deborah harkness ... book 1 is a few inches above this line ....
shadow of night, all souls trilogy, book 2 ... william shakespeare, christopher marlowe, time traveling witch and vampire trying to solve a mystery .....
the book of life, all souls trilogy, book 3 .... best of them all, i think. i just love diana.

49 ... perfect on paper: the misadventures of waverly bryson by maria murnane .... kind of bridget jones .... chick lit ... woman gets left at alter .... hysteria ensues ..... you know that kind of book , right ... super light read ...

50 ...lean forward into your life: listen hard, live with intention, and play with abandon  ... by mary anne radmacher ... a how to manual on living a good life ... mostly it is things you intuitively know probably, but it is helpful to have them reframed in such a kind way .... a pick me up sort of book.

September-December .... oops .... so much for keeping up with it as i read ....

51. the annotated mona lisa .... read this (enjoyed it) to study for my state art praxis test ... that i passed, thank you very much.

52. the girl with all the gifts by m.r. carey... oh wow. not at all what i expected. weird developments all the way through. interesting twists. EXCELLENT ending ... and when does anyone ever say that? it's weird but a must read. perhaps the most memorable book this year.

53.love and other unknown variables by shannon alexander ... YA fiction... math and love. well done.

54. the enormous room by e.e.cumming. wow. so not poetry. e.e. was in french prison camp during the war. astonishing. i read it to be smarter, but i loved it too.

55. i am not myself these days by j kilmer-purcell ... wow. so not what i normally read. a drag queen in love with a crack addict/prostitute/dealer mess of a man .... like watching a train wreck. well done.

56.who do you love by jennifer weiner ... met when they were young ... remet as teens ... a life time of a relationship and love ... i always like j.weiner books.

57.witches of east end. by melissa de la cruz
58. serpent's kiss: witches of east end
59. winds of salem: withces of east end novel
YES ... loved this series ... loved freya ... but loved ingrid even more ... so enjoy finding a series to read in completion in one go.

60. flat out love by jessica park ... oh. nice surprise and twist and fun. i liked this. a college girl ended up living with her mom's college roommate and family when she went off to college. and gets tangled with the family that appears to have a variety of struggles. love entanglements, sorrows, joy ...

61. luckiest girl alive (which i confused with the girl with all the gifts) ... by jessica knoll ... ani faneli switched schools and was the poor girl at the rich school and did the wrong things to fit in and had so many troubles and in flash backs and forwards and horrible incidents and highs and lows and lowers and lowers ... a compelling read ... great book club book cause everyone likes and hates characters for different reasons ... and why? why does something like this happen? excellent.

62. the line (witching savannah) by jd horn.... witchy story in savannah

63. the unseemly education of anne merchant by joanne weibe .... SUPER WEIRD sci fi sorta book ... about an island boarding school (never a good idea to go to an island boarding school) .... very compelling ...

64. all the light we cannot see by anthony doerr ... blind girl in ww2 .. i LOVED it so.... and her museum curator dad ... and the sweet, sad german boy ... excellent.

65 where we belong by catherine ryan hyde ....there are about 20 books with this name. this one is excellent. a family of three ... single mom, two daughters... battling homelessness.... and a man who helps them ... or helps one of them and thereby helps them all .... a learning disable child, battling the poverty line, an awesome dog ... excellent book...

66.the night circus by erin morganstern ... a circus. two magicians. unknowingly pitted against each other.... epic. second half better than first .. and the first half is good...

67. maybe in another life by taylor jenkins ... clever. one character, two time lines ... a choice ... and following each path ..... and then the question (cause i read it for book club) of which story line is better/happier/more satisfying .... excellent book.

68. married with luggage: what we learned about love by traveling the world  by betsy and warren talbot.
oh. i love to travel. i love travel memoirs. i love this simple book of two people married and in love and trying to sort things out as they travel.

69. the atopia chronicles by matthew mather ... not sure if this is post apocalyptic or during the apocalypse ...  but there's a utopian island in the pacific ... and people live with virtual reality everything instead of the need for the real thing ... and it is weird and wild.

70. the mayhem sisters. by lauren quick. ... living in overland ... a witch world ... three cursed sisters ... the one featured in this book is late to her powers ... typical witch book ... but i'm going to read the next ...

71.christmas in good hope by cindy kirk .... i love christmas books and christmas movies ... and i predict this good christmas book (of love and confusion and painful pasts) will become a christmas movie.. my girls and i would watch it for sure ..... easy, light, happy read

72. hunger games
73. catching fire
74. mocking jay
by suzanne collins ... love these books second and third time reading them ... read them in preparation for the last installment of the movie .... glad i did.

75. bathing and the single girl by christine elise mccarthy ... funny book about girl making all the wrong choices.... much cursier than my usual books ... be warned if that bugs you.

76... pretty girls by karin slaughter .. this book is horrifying ... and you can't put it down because you want to know how it turns out ... grosser/gorier than silence of the lambs maybe? serial killer. broken family. frightening last third of the book. couldn't sleep. oh my. so scary. GRAPHIC .. be warned by

and then i started reading christmas books:
77. christmas past by robert vaugn ... for a book club. ok. time travel sorta.
78 touching wonder by john blase..... EXCELLENT christmas book ... novelization of luke's story in the bible.
79. can this be christmas by debbie macomber ... nice xmas story stranded in a train station.
80. an idiot girl's guide to christmas by laurie notary....smart alecky. funny. short stories.
81. twas the night before by jerry jenkins... engaged couple arguing over believing in santa.
82... christmas wedding by james patterson ... reread a book club book... goofy ... second marriage for a widow trying to bring her children back together by not telling them who she is marrying

83 ... the house girl by tara conklin ... EXCELLENT ... this book was written for ME ... it has interesting art history and an artist and some mystery ... back and forth between modern time lawyer who is the child of two artists ... and a josephine, a slave, who learns to read (and paint) as a house girl while her peers are working the fields ... underground railroad interestingness as well ... all around a GREAT book. loved it. was sorry it ended even though it ended in just the right way.

84.... the hours by m. cunningham ... i should have studied up on virginia woolf before i read this ... very slow, heavy, intellectual sort of read .... it is dark and tragic ... and did i already say heavy ... i got through it for a book club .. but i didn't love it ... no uplift ... no spirit ... loads of sorrow ... critically acclaimed, and understandably so ... i get why it is good ... read it if you like sad pulitzer prize winning books (since despair puts you in the running for the pulitzer)

85.agnes and the hitman by jennifer cruise ... fun. funny. loved agnes. light and silly. will look for others by her.

86. breakfast at tiffany's by truman capote. not light and happy go lucky like i thought it would be. interesting.

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