Monday, May 01, 2006

April's reading list

I had better luck this month than last month! I read a bunch of books that I really enjoyed.

(*****) "Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini. I read somewhere that this would be a good book, and so had been waiting for it from the library for almost 2 months. I wasn't sure about it when I started it, but quickly got into it and found it an awesome book. Love, betrayal and redemption are all themes in this book and I was sorry to find myself at the end.

(*) "Getting Personal" by Diane Amos. Chick lit, but dumb chick lit.

(*****) "Last Days of Dogtown" by Anita Diamante. I enjoyed "The Red Tent" so I was interested to read this novel of hers. It was a book full of great characters and stories. Loved it.

(*) "The Fugitive Wife" by Peter Brown. boring. story dragged out and I just couldn't get into it. I read the first few chapters, then skimmed the rest. Nothing of note.

(***) "Murder in Ordinary Time" by Carol Anne O'Marie. This is the 2nd mystery I have read by this author and her mystery-solving nun. Fun read. It isn't the 2nd in the series though - WHY is it so hard to find out which order the books are published in? The list in the front should be a chronological list, don't you think?

(****) "Million Dollar Dilemma" by Judy Baer. Christian lit. good story, nice characters, enjoyable read. I always like it when they include discussion questions in the book. I guess that's the "forever student" in me. LOL!

(***) "Silver Rose" by Susan Carrol. Historical romantic fantasy about witches vs. French royalty in the late 1800's. Okay story, not great literature, but entertaining read. I read about 2/3 of it, and then started skimming as I pretty much could tell what was going to happen.

(***) "Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown. I read "DaVinci's Code" when it came out a while back. I think this book was better, but still laughable at parts the way he perceives/represents the Catholic Church. Maybe I'm just extra-sensitive. Good read all the same, as long as one remembers that he's a FICTION author.

(****) "The Woman at the Washington Zoo: writings on politics, family and fate" by Marjorie Williams. A collection of her profiles of people living in DC. She's a wonderful writer; the profiles were very well done. It was an informative read, and very enjoyable. I didn't realize until near the end when the essays became personal that the author died of cancer at a fairly young age. Those essays were hard to read as she came to the realization that she wouldn't see her young children grow up.

(*****) "Collected Stories, 1891 - 1910" by Edith Wharton. Wharton has been one of my favorite authors for many years. After reading this collection, I still love her. She is an absolute master at creating characters.

(**) "Digital Fortress" by Dan Brown. This book fell into my lap and so I read it. It was just "eh" and many parts were highly implausible. No rips on the Catholic Church in this book. It was an easy read, though, and mildly entertaining.

I usually only include the "story" books that I read, and don't include the cookbooks and other reference books in this list. I read a couple this month, though, that I wanted to include as well.

(*****) "Great Garden Companions" by Sally Jean Cunningham. I should have read this about a week before I actually did, as I would have planted my vegetable box differently. Oh, well, there's always the next planting season! I love how she just throws all the plants together tightly and lets them grow and help each other. Wonderful book with tons of great information.

(*****) "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker" by Beth Hensperger & Julie Kaufmann. I admit that one of the things I look for in cookbooks are lots of pictures. I need the visual usually to get me interested in making a new dish. This book, however, has NO pictures but it does have 350 recipes. It includes a chapter about the science/mechanics of slow cooking, and then shares recipes that cover just about everything you would ever want to cook! I like to cook with my slow cooker, especially in the summer here, and plan to use this book to increase the amount of things I use it for. They have recipes for breakfast to desserts, and EVERYTHING in between. I wish it included nutritional info and pictures.

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