Some Recommended Reads

Rather than writing about each book I read, I like to wait a little while before compiling them all into one blog post. I want to focus on the ones I really loved, rather than those I thought were mediocre and pretty boring.

“The Call” by Yannick Murphy — I mentioned this one in my August Hit List post, and it was well worth it. It’s pretty short and in an easily digestible format. I found the styling unique in that each mini-story is an entry in a veterinarian’s diary. After the main character’s son falls into a coma due to a hunting accident, the veterinarian tries to cope with his own guilt after the event as well as the knowledge that it was probably one of his customers who shot his son in this small town.

“Among Others” by Jo Walton — It’s a little bit sci-fi, a little bit coming of age tale, but it’s one of the best YA crossover novels I’ve read in a while. Morwenna goes to boarding school after her twin sister dies, and she’s left alone to deal with her evil witch mother and burgeoning magical powers. What I loved about the book is that I wasn’t sure it was real sci-fi for a long time. Was she just making up the magic to cope with her sister’s death? Or can she actually see fairies? What’s also compelling is that this book can serve as a how-to for anyone interested in expanding their sci-fi horizons. I picked at least a dozen titles to look out for.

“Sister” by Rosamund Lupton — I should qualify this by saying that I don’t read mysteries, and the few that I end up reading, I rarely ever like. I just don’t have patience for putting off who the killer is until the end; I like to know now! That being said I was drawn into this mystery immediately because of the main character’s feelings for her sister and her can-do attitude about finding her sister’s murderer. Add in the fact that this is Lupton’s debut, and I think she’s got a great career ahead of her. And sure, I predicted who the murderer was (although I did NOT see the twist that was coming), but isn’t that part of the fun of murder mysteries?

“Coffins of Little Hope” by Timothy Schaffert — I read this early on in the summer, and it has still stuck with me. The story focuses on octogenarian Essie who investigates a young woman’s tale that her daughter was abducted. She must also deal with the return of her daughter, who abandoned her own daughter years ago. It’s a heartwarming family tale, and Schaffert paints a picture of an idiosyncratic town akin to the one in “Gilmore Girls” (love anything like this!). Check his stuff out. Now.

“This Life Is in Your Hands” by Melissa Coleman — Another genre that I wish I read more of is any type of non-fiction. I made a promise to myself to read at least one a month, and this I read last month still in hardcover. It’s probably my favorite book so far this year as Melissa recounts her story of her family in the 70s and their participation in the “back to the land” movement. It’s a personal story as well as a description of a moment in our country’s history that has been largely wiped from memory. I don’t want to reveal too much about her story, but it’s sad and uplifting all at the same time (is that possible?) I love memoirs that are clearly conflicted as to whether they want to rip their parents’ heads off or run crying back to the peace childhood brings (before it’s shattered, that is).

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