I really enjoyed only one book I read this month - "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents". The rest were so-so, or downright awful. I tried to complete every book I started this month (sometimes I just skim when I start to lose interest) and I think I'll go back to skimming. "Cuba" was an exception in that the plot took a while to develop, and the characters seemed very unrealistic in many places -- but I'm glad I finished the book as it was oddly satisfying at the end.
(**) Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander / I read another of his novels last month that I really enjoyed. This one was predictable and slow in many parts.
(*) Altar Music by Christin Lore Weber / A sad, depressing look into a woman's choice to enter a convent - written by a former nun. I guess that should have tipped me off. The book made me uncomfortable and seemed to focus only on the negative.
(***) Tattoo Artist by Jill Ciment / This was another book that took a bit to get into it, but it was ultimately interesting. The main character was stranded on an island for many years with native peoples and returned to NYC after 20+ years.
(***) 42 Up by Bennett Singer / One of the original "reality" type shows. This is a book that is a companion to the English movies that followed a group of individuals from the age of 7. They were interviewed every 7 years to see the changes in their lives. I find peoples' lives interesting, so I liked this read. I have only seen one of the movies (7 Up) but the others are in my Netflix queue.
(*) Queen of the Underworld by Gail Godwin / Very unsatisfying read. Not much of a plot, loose ending, poor character development. Won't bother with any more of author's novels.
(**) Master Tanner Heads West by WC Baumberger / Kinda weird. Again, poor character development. I would have liked to understand the character's a bit better.
(**) Fever by Sean Rowe / B movie material. Low on character development, but quick read.
(****) How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez / Most enjoyable book read this month. Great look at family life. My only complaint is that the time frames jumped around too much -- one chapter it was 1952, next chapter it was 1980, then back to the 60's.
(*) Passion: A Novel of the Romantic Poets by Jude Morgan / Ehhhhh. Too many characters not easily linked to each other.
(***) Cuba: A Novel by Emily Barr / Glad I stuck through to the end. Very weird in parts, but interesting in others.
(***) A Gathering of Angels by Katherine Valentine / Easy, fun, simple read. Mitford becomes Catholic. Annoying that the author has ripped off so many plot developments and characters from the Mitford series -- this book even had a large dog and a children's author.