Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Sunday Salon: Mid-Year Review

Books Read and Reviewed January—June

Books Read But Not Yet Reviewed
The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman)
Blessings (Anna Quindlen)
Skylight Confessions (Alice Hoffman)

Best Books So Far
Sadly, nothing so far has been knock-my-socks-off amazing. But I must say I really loved the last four books—the ones I haven't yet reviewed and Lee Smith's Last Girls a whole lot. Well, and of course, The Book Thief—but that is a multiple re-read.

Book Club Books
Labor Day (Joyce Maynard)--(January)
Winter Wheat (February)
Girls of Atomic City (Denise Kiernan)-- (March)
Jane Eyre (April)
And...I think we missed a month. I didn't re-read Winter Wheat or Jane Eyre, but I did bring a paper on Jane Eyre that I had written in college!

Movies From Books
Labor Day (book club outing)
The Fault in Our Stars (I actually haven't read the book, but I've been assured it's close)
The Book Thief (Watched with my World Lit class. A good movie but very disappointing after reading the book)
Great Expectations (loved the Masterpiece Classic on Netflix. Really fabulous.)

Added to TBR List
  1. 41 False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers by Janet Malcolm
    Alena by Rachel Pastan  
  2. Americanah by Chimanda Adichie
  3. The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy   
  4. Bellman & Black: A Ghost Story by Diane Setterfield
  5. Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior
  6. The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez 
  7. China Dolls by Lisa See
  8. Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
  9. Ecology of a Cracker Childhood (The World As Home) by Janisse Ray
  10. Glow by Jessica Maria Tuccelli
  11.  The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  12. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  13. The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
  14. Guests on Earth  by Lee Smith 
  15. The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons 
  16. In My Father's Country by Saima Wahab 
  17. The Invention of Wings by  Sue Monk Kidd 
  18. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
  19.  The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian 
  20. Long Man by Amy Greene 
  21. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. 
  22. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton 
  23. Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills
  24. The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley
  25. The Plague of Doves  by Louise Erdrich
  26. A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor 
  27. Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah 
  28. The Rest of the Story by Phan Thi Kim Phuc
  29. Snow by Orhan Pamuk 
  30. Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
  31. Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren F. Winner     
  32. A Thousand Mornings: Poems by Mary Oliver 
  33. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan 
 Yeah, that kind of makes me dizzy. Why have I added so many books already this year, and read so few? 

I just noticed that on my mid-year post from 2013, I posted all kind of literary pictures from our trip to Paris. No such excitement this year! But I am most excited about read Amy Greene's The Long Man.

And that's it so far for 2014!


Sherry said...

From your TBR list, I liked Americanah, although the protagonist is a bit annoying at times. I didn't like Gone Girl or Snow, but your mileage may vary.

Americanah review:

About Gone Girl I wrote: "it was intelligent, well-plotted, psychologically astute, crude, profane, and ultimately repellent. The ending was especially disturbing." Now I've made you curious,right?

Ellen (youP said...

You read Ocean at the End of the Lane?! I wept. I still don't even know why really. It was beautiful writing. Easily one of my favorites. Of course, I'm pretty Gaiman-biased.

I read the first two chapters of Gone Girl and quit! I cannot remember the last time I couldn't finish a book.

Anyway, hadn't peeked at the blog in a while. Miss you all!