My 10 most recent – updated 11/28/15

I am happy to report that I am out of my book rut.  I have looked back at the books I have read in the last year and I’m at 24 so far. I am attributing my increase in pace to my ability to read on the Stair-Stepping machine.

My most recent books are:

  1.  The Life Intended – by Kristin Harmel- Sappy but sweet, about a young woman who is having vivid dreams about her dead husband right as she is becoming a new fiance.  Predictable but likable.
  2. Kitchens of the Great Midwest – by Ryan Stradal – Set in Minnesota about a young girl who loses both of her parents but goes on to lead a remarkable life.  Thoroughly enjoyed it.
  3. Maybe in Another Life – Taylor Jenkins Reid – Alternating chapter novel about a girl who has to make a “what if” decision.  Neat premise.
  4. Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff – On every best novel list of 2015 I have seen.  Well written and thought provoking.  The tale of a happy marriage told first from the husband and then from the wife.  Good discussion.
  5. Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarity – Chick lit book about a young woman who moved to a new town and is bullied by the cool moms.  Beach read.
  6. Come Back – by Claire and Mia Fontaine – a true story about a girl who is sent to a therapeutic boarding school.  I have a lot of interest in this topic so I found it fascinating. Narrow audience.
  7. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica – Another book set in Minnesota this time about a girl gone missing.  Told in three different voices.  Crime thriller.
  8. A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara – another book on every single best novel list.  About 4 friends in New York City.  It’s like a car crash, it’s hard to watch but you can’t stop looking.  Only if you can take a 900 page book.
  9. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats – Jan-Phillip Sender – every single person I have told to read this book has loved it.  Must read.
  10. Z – A novel of Zelda Fitzgerald – so entertaining, I loved learning about Zelda.  She always get a bad rap from Hemingway.  Hear her side of the story.  My favorite historical fiction this year.

Happy Reading-


Older posts below:

I am STILL in a book rut, and so after over a year of this feeling I have to acknowledge that it’s not a rut; it’s a habit change. I will admit it: I have slowed down my reading.

I had lunch with my friend, Barb, yesterday who also used to be a voracious reader. We agreed that we are both in a “book drought”. We came up with the root causes for this which we identified as follows:

1. Netflix is good and pulls us away from reading with shows like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black”
2. We are not impressed with recent new release books, and
3. We really want to read books we read to be “page turners”

We decided that the books we choose need to be “readable”. It used to be that I would slog through any book, but now it seems that a book has to grab me right away. And as members of my B-town book club say, the measure of a good book is that you can’t wait until you have your “reading time” at night. I am finding that I am giving up on books that just aren’t that interesting or “readable”. So here are my most recent books, with a truthful note about how fast I read them or how “readable” they were on a scale of 1-10

1. Defending Jacob, by William Landay – I give it an 8 for readability, it would be higher but it has a slow start. It is my beach book recommendation for this summer.
2. Empty Mansions, by Bill Dedman – only a 5 in readability but very well written and worth the slog.
3. A Piece of Cake, by Cupcake Brown – a 9 in readability if you like to read about someone else’s life spinning out of control. It’s like a car crash, you can’t look away.
4. We are Water, by Wally Lamb – Readability is an 8 but I love Wally.
5. Have No shame, by Melissa Foster – a 6 in readability because of the Southern dialect but actually a pretty cute story. There is a non Southern version which I learned of later.
6. Fair and Tender Ladies by Melissa Foster – an 8 in readability, a very sweet story about a woman who grows up in the South
7. Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt – a 4 in readability but worth the slog
8. Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline – a 9 in readability and also a good book
9. Wonder, by RJ Palacio a 10 in readability and a great Young Adult story
10 The Fault in our Stars, by John Green is a 10 in readability and an amazing but sad story

These 10 books took me 9 months to read. How’s that for a low book reading average? Frankly, with such great Netflix content and with the new books I see out there, I don’t see it changing for a some time. I will be on the look out for books that have good content with a high readability index!

Last update: May 2013 I am finding myself in a bit of a book rut. I am in 3 different book clubs and in the last year I have tried to hold myself back and let other people recommend the books. (I can be a bit aggressive at times!) That said, I am having to read 3 books at a time plus the books I want to read on my own. This fuels my reading ADHD habit of starting multiple books. I also think it hinders my ability to fully enjoy a book. The ultimate result is I am not enjoying the books as much and then I follow my 100 page rule and stop reading. Here are the books I have recently read but have not blogged about.

1.  “All you Could Ask For” by Mike Greenberg. I really liked this book in that it kept me entertained with 3 female protagonists all narrated in the first person, a style I like. However, I felt like the story didn’t really hold together throughout the book and it had a weak ending. I still liked it and have recommended it but beware of it’s flaws.

2.  “Carry the One” by Carol Anshaw. This book had so much potential because the writing is very good and I liked the story line of a very liberal family with close brothers and sisters. (This is pretty true to my real life.) But even with really strong writing, the story hasn’t held my interest. I haven’t finished it but I will.

3.  “Before the Storm” by Diane Chamberlain. This is a book about a single mother who is holding it together with a teenaged daughter and a boy with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Good writing and story and my book club skyped with the author who was very engaging. I liked it but have not felt compelled to blog about it.

4.  “Beyond Belief” by Jenna Miscavige. This is a book written from the perspective of a young woman who grew up as a Scientologist and then left the “religion.” It is very disturbing and I enjoyed it, but I abruptly put it down and have not been motivated to finish.

5.  “Here I go Again” by Jen Lancaster. A book club book about a gorgeous gal who has it all but treated people poorly in high school and college. We find her an overweight middle aged woman who is going back to her high school reunion. Entertaining, but I feel like I am reading a script that an older Lindsay Lohan will star in someday- if she ever gets her act together.

So there you go, consider me UPDATED.


11 Responses to My 10 most recent – updated 11/28/15

  1. Kim Jeter says:

    You amaze me, Anne!! I love your blog. The ones that sound the most appealing to me are Left Neglected and Lit.

  2. Felicia Snee says:

    ABL – you are too cool for words. How do I sign up to be like you? LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog. so much!

  3. Kim, I think you would really like both “Left Neglected” AND “Lit”. I also think you would like the “Molly Marx” book. Flea, thank you so much for the kind words. Given how much I adore you, they mean so much!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It was great talking with you on the flight from Miami to MPS. I was about going crazy by the time we landed and got off the plane, as I am not a sedentary person, and 4 airports in one day are too many!! I love your blog and have read a lot of the same books. “Left Neglected” is next on my list.


    • Thanks Connie. It was a pleasure to meet you too. What a great way to pass the time on that crowded plane: meeting a great lady who loves books! Best to you!

      • Anonymous says:

        Just finished “Left Neglected” and LOVED it. Thanks for the recommendation.
        Hope you had an opportunity to spend time with your family for Thanksgiving.


      • Connie, I am so glad you loved it. I am waiting for another book from her since that and Still Alice were both fantastic. Happy holidays to you and your family!

  5. RFW says:

    OK – found one I can order (library or somewhere). Read and reviewed a few you listed – Language of Flowers would be at the top of my list too. Glad to see your review of 50 Shades – on order from my library (e-book) but may be a long wait – from your comment, I can wait. thanks.

  6. Well said ABL. I had one last thought on this subject after our delightful lunch. I am at a point where I don’t want to make myself read a book, I want the book to make me read it. That’s it. Happy reading…

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