I’m going to review them ultra quick. Blink and you’ll miss it.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. A beautifully written page turner. So many elements in common with Patchett’s Bel Canto: South America, dramatic beginning, characters stuck waiting in stressful situations and separated from their cell phones, opera. But still a completely new and original story. Really enjoyed it.
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen . Middle schooler turns to 1950s teen popularity manual and writers about the results. Funny and heartwarming. Anyone else wonder if a fourteen-year-old actually wrote this? I don’t really doubt it, but this little part of me wonders.
The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest: Dan Buettner: Investigation of lifestyles in areas with unusually high number of people living to be 100 (topic addressed here). Easy to read, although I think it could have been written better. Also, his conclusion is that our life expectancy and quality of life are within our control. I think his studies suggest the opposite, as most of the centenarians he profiles were just living the life customary to their particular culture. They aren’t countercultural, as we would have to be to imitate them.
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, audiobook read by Cherry Jones: We all finally listened to the whole thing on our last car trip. Really enjoyed it, especially hearing her sing the songs with a fiddle accompaniment. Only qualm is that Ms. Jones reads Pa’s lines with a Southern accent. Charles Ingalls was born in New York and spent most of his life in the Midwest. Seriously? All the same, looking forward to getting the next in the series.
Ramona’s World by Beverly Cleary: Girl 1 is having us read certain chapters over and over. I can’t complain. I just love this series.
Started but not yet finished:
Pioneer Girl, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the newly released annotated version of Wilder’s original, never-before-published autobiography. All the footnotes are fascinating but it makes for slow reading.
Reed of God by Caryll Houselander: There are parts I like about this book, but for the most part it’s not my style. Everyone I know who has read it loves it. I’m going to persevere.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown: I’m disappointed by this book so far, although I plan to at least skim the rest of it. It has some great ideas but is written in such generalities that I skim over a lot of it. Not the page-turner I’d hoped.
Princes at War: The Bitter Battle Inside Britains Royal Family in the Darkest Days of WWII by Deborah Cadbury: Well-written look at the English monarchy during WWII. Previously all I really knew was what I saw from the movie, The King’s Speech (just realized the movie is based on a book by the same name). I never manage to finish history books, though, and this time it won’t be any different.