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The Circle
Dave Eggers
The Husband's Secret
Liane Moriarty
The Good Lord Bird
James McBride
The Returned
Jason Mott
The Painted Girls: A Novel
Cathy Marie Buchanan
Bellman & Black
Diane Setterfield
The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion

Very seldom do I finish a book and want to start it all over again because it is so good.  The Rosie Project is one of those.  The character of Don is just so lovable, in spite of the fact that he has such poor social skills that almost every word he says is so honest that he comes across as rude and unfeeling.  All the situations he finds himself made me laugh out loud.  I have known a number of people who are so much like him.  This is labelled as a romantic comedy, but it is more like a romance for people who don't read romance novels.

Burial Rites - Hannah Kent

Iceland is not just the setting for this book, but seems like an additional character.  The author creates such a realistic portrait of life in early nineteenth century Iceland, and the character of Agnes.  I kept hoping that the story would turn out well, but we knew the outcome from the very beginning.  This felt like a murder mystery, but we already knew who had done it, but not why or how it happened until the very end.  i would highly recommend this book.


This started a little slow for me, but once I got into it I couldn't put it down. This novel, based on the true story of the last person executed for murder in Island in 1829 for the murder of her employer and lover. Agnes Magnúsdøttir is sent to live with a local family until her execution and becomes a part of the family. The descriptions of the landscape and life of Iceland made me want to go and visit and Iceland almost becomes another character in the story.

Night Film - Marisha Pessl This had potential with a great storyline and character. However, it just went on too long and was too pretentious with all its talk of film and philosophical musings about life, etc.
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison - Piper Kerman, Cassandra Campbell I decided to listen to this audio book after watching the Netflix original series. I thought it was well worth reading, being both educational and entertaining. It was extremely different than the film version, not just in the story and characters, but this would get almost a "G" rating compared to the "MA" rating of the film version. (Honestly, it would be more like "PG," but seems very tame compared to the film version),
The Rose Garden - Susanna Kearsley I liked the beginning of the book, with it's Daphne du Maurier/Mary Stewart vibe, but the whole time travel thing just didn't quite work.
NOS4A2 - Joe Hill Still another book I couldn't put down. Joe Hill definitely has his father's touch. (He is the son of Stephen King).
After Life - Rhian Ellis I could not put this down once I started reading. It had me rooting for the main character and hoping no one would discover her crime. I also found the spiritualism aspect fascinating.
And the Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseini I thought that this was wonderful, like his two previous books, but would have been even better if there were not quite so many characters and side stories. I liked the extra characters and side stories, but they could have been written as a separate book.
Songs of Willow Frost - Jamie Ford I received an advanced reader copy via BookBrowse from Random House Publishers.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Songs of Willow Frost, even though the story is mostly a sad one. The author did a wonderful job of capturing the spirit and language of 1920s and 1930s America. In my opinion, this far surpasses his earlier book, On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

This would be a great book club book because it raises so many questions about race and the roles of women in that era, including the idea that mothers were not as important as fathers. Because of the big role of the early movie industry and its depiction of the limited rights of women, it reminds me a bit of The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty.
Call the Midwife : A True Story of the East End in the 1950s - JENNIFER WORTH I was fascinated by this window into the lives of women in London's East End in the 1950s. It made me realize, once again, how much the lives of women have changed in the last 60 years.
Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects - Amy Stewart This was a very interesting read, but I had a hard time finishing it because I would start itching and imagining all of these bugs crawling on me and had to stop. Do not read this if you are afraid of insects!
Close My Eyes - Sophie McKenzie This story of Geniver and the mystery surrounding the death of her baby 8 years before was impossible to put down. It was difficult tell if she was losing her mind or if someone close to her was deceiving her. The comparisons to Gone Girl and Before I go to Sleep are spot on.
Life After Life - Kate Atkinson "What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?" Life After Life is a thought provoking book that brings up the intriguing question that I sometimes think about. Everything that happens in a person's life could be so different based on tiny changes or different decisions that are made. There is some similarities to Replay by Ken Grimwood or even Time Traveller's Wife. Once I got past the beginning of the book, in which we see Ursula be born and die several times, I couldn't put this book down.
The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat - Edward Kelsey Moore This book doesn't seem to be getting a lot of attention, but it is well worth reading. While some of the characters are one dimensional and somewhat cartoon like, they serve as comic relief for the very serious, heartbreaking things that are going on at the same time. The main characters are very well developed and made me feel very involved with them.
The Chaperone - Laura Moriarty I found this story of Cora, and her chaperoning of a young Louise Brooks (a future silent film star) to New York in 1922 impossible to put down. The author did an impressive job of capturing the lives of women in a time of great social upheaval in a very realistic way. So often in historical fiction the characters seem like modern women dumped in a historical setting and act in a way that makes fun or puts down the standards of the times.

My only criticism of the book is that it went on too long. I enjoyed following Cora throughout her life, but think the time after the 1920s could have been summarized in one chapter.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple This book was thoroughly entertaining. I listened to it on audio, which I enjoyed, but reading it would have been even more entertaining as the whole book was told through emails, letters, and diary entries.