2010 Booklist

Okay, I said I was going to read more this year and I have been. So far, so good, though it is ALL fiction. But I do not apologize for that. Not one bit.

January

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri – This was a book club selection from last fall sometime. I was unable to make it to book club that month (come to think of it, I think I've only even ever been ONCE…) but still wanted to read the book. I'm not sorry I did. It is hard for me to name exactly what struck me about this story, but something did. I think it has to do with the third culture idea and the hope mixed with confusion mixed with bitterness mixed with loneliness mixed with…something. Anyway, the writing is good and the story is captivating. We just watched the movie tonight and it only made sense in light of the book. Had I not read it, the movie would have just been this collection of fragments.

I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson- This is a reread for me. A friend asked me to read it several years ago for my stay-at-home-mom take on the working mom story. I'm hosting the book club this month (yes, the one I've only attended ONCE so far…) and this was one of my choices for everyone to pick from. Here's my little disclaimer: I'd forgotten just how much shocking language was in the book, but the story was still very powerful for me to read. And even more so now, probably seven years after I first read it. I think it has something to do with the fact that I do carry a part-time job now that I didn't even dream of seven years ago. Granted, my part-time job is right here on the computer and done at night at home. But there is still a pull it puts on me and that pull (tiny though it is) identified more with Kate's pull than it did seven years ago. There is a tension there that is worthy of discussion and I'm looking forward to hosting it in a few weeks.

The Patron Saint of Liars
by Ann Patchett – This was another one of my selections for book club this month and though not the one chosen, one I still wanted to read. My word. Ann Patchett can tell a story. I read Bel Canto many years ago and really only remember liking her writing, but thinking it took me forever to read it. Not so with The Patron Saint of Liars. If you are the type of reader who must have the story tied up neatly with a pretty bow on the top by the end, then skip this one. It isn't for you. But if you are in the mood for a story that will make you race to the finish and then be sorry it is over, then this may be something you will enjoy. In short, the main character, Rose, is headed from California to Kentucky to a Catholic home for unwed mothers who plan to give their babies away after birth. Problem? Rose is married. She lives a life of secrets and lies, hence the title of the book. Worth reading.

The Master Puppeteer by Katherine Paterson – This was read out loud to the girls in conjunction with Sonlight's Core 5 program. I'll be honest – some of the school readers we read put me to sleep. Not this one. It was a very interesting story and we all enjoyed it. The girls kept begging me to keep reading after I'd read our daily 2 chapters. I held them off until the very end when there were only two chapters to go to the finish – we read four that day. Paterson also wrote Bridge to Terabithia which we didn't realize until the end of the story, but made sense. The writing is very good.

Next Up:

The Brothers K by David James Duncan – At 645 pages, I asked Craig if I could count this one as two books. He laughed at me. But so far? So good.