Sunday, April 17, 2011

Make Time for Books

With all the upheaval of home improvement (update on that coming soon) I've been falling asleep a little sooner every night when I get into bed, so I haven't been finishing as many books as I'd like. But I always find at least a little room in the day for reading!

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: At the library, the waiting list for this book was a mile long, so I had high hopes. The premise is that the author embarks on a new scheme to enhance her happiness in each of the twelve months of a year. I thought it started strong, but after the first few months, it fizzled. It seemed to me like once she started a blog, the comments on her posts had too great an effect on her writing.

Howard's End is On the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home by Susan Hill: Another year-long experiment! In this one, the author vows to read only books from her own bookshelves for a year. I was unfamiliar with many of the authors, so much of it was lost on me, but it did introduce me to Barbara Pym!

Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons: Tales of Redemption from an Irish Mailbox by Greg Fitzsimmons: I picked this up thinking it was about Ireland, but it isn't. That was disappointing, but the book was pretty good. If nothing else, it's worth reading for the line about pubic hair!

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin: I have a crush on Steve Martin, so I'm biased, but I enjoyed it. See an interview with my lovely Steve here.

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris: This has been on my to-be-read list for years. I finally downloaded it (for FREE from the library!) to my e-reader. Ferris really captures the relationships between a group of coworkers. You'll probably recognize one or two of your own coworkers here!

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels and Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond: Didn't like it. Great blog, boring book.

Talking to Girls About Duran Duran by Rob Sheffield: Tiresome. And that's coming from someone who graduated high school in 1985. I'm no stranger to Duran Duran.

Room by Emma Donoghue: Flew through this one. Donoghue wrote another book I liked very much, Slammerkin. Couldn't have been more different, but also very interesting!

Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin: Despite my apathy towards cooking, I decided to give this a try. Many bloggers have had many good things to say about it, and I will not be the exception. I loved it.

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy: Another comfy, cozy, Irish book from Maeve Binchy. No surprises, but always an enjoyable read.

Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog by Lisa Scottoline: A series of short essays. Some good laughs, but I always feel sort of agitated when I read a book filled with short bits. Good for the gym, but not good for curling up with in bed.

Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing by Kathy Cano-Murillo: Kathy Cano-Murillo is the woman behind the Crafty Chica blog, which is one of the first crafting blogs I ever saw. Her projects just aren't exactly my style, and the same goes for the book.

Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym: You've heard me go on about how much I like D.E. Stevenson, now you'll have to listen to me bang on about Barbara Pym, who is very similar. Loved it.

The English Air by D.E. Stevenson: I wish I had a picture of the dust jacket on the edition I read. It's downright embarrassing to be seen with some of these books, but they are worth it!

The Last Child by John Hart: The mystery book discussion group at my library needed a title, so I suggested this, the winner of the Edgar Award for best novel in 2010. My husband, who is a member of the group, seemed to really like it, so I read it too. I can't say it was the trickiest mystery I've ever read or the most innovative, but there is some good writing in it. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the group felt about it!


Sherry from Alabama said...

Again, thanks for your book reviews. I'm always on the lookout for a good read and your reviews help so much!

I have just finished reading a series of books by Katherine Valentine. Have you read any of her work? The stories are set in the small town of Dorsetville (comparable to Mayberry). The stories are very similar to the Mitford series.

I enjoy good, wholesome books but they are somewhat hard to find. Thanks again for your reviews!

Sherry @ A Happy Valentine

Larry Duncan said...

I'm happy that you like Barbara Pym. Don't you love her food references? I always want to drink sherry and nibble a slice of thin buttered bread while reading one of her books. Have you tried any Miss Read books? Or Dodie Smith? If you like vintage British fiction they can't be beat. Love you blog. Can't wait to see the finished kitchen. Janet

Darling Petunia said...

Sherry, I think I may have read one Katherine Valentine book, A Miracle for Saint Cecilia's. I'll have to look into it!

Darling Petunia said...

Janet, YES, I read all of the Miss Read years ago. I love those as well! I'm not at all familiar with Dodie Smith, though. Another one to check out! Thanks!