Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Review: January

I used to do a review every once in awhile about the books I'd been reading, but I kind of got out of the habit of doing that in the last six months. So, I thought I'd start back up again with the new year. This month I've read 12 books and I'm working on my 13th, which is a bio about Mickey Mantle.

Here is my list so far:

1. Cold-Blooded- Lisa Jackson

2. Dreams of Joy- Lisa See
3. Chasing Harry Winston- Lauren Weisberger
4. Prarie Tale- Melissa Gilbert
5. The Family Fang- Kevin Wilson
6. Stories I Only Tell My Friends- Rob Lowe
7. A Dark and Lonely Place- Edna Buchanan
8. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation- Lauren Willig
9. The Tiger's Wife- Tea Obreht
10. Girl Who Chased the Moon- Sarah Addison Allen
11. Story Of Beautiful Girl- Rachel Simon
12. Happens Every Day- Isabelle Gillies

Of the 12 that I read, my three favorites are:

1. Story of Beautiful Girl

It's about two people that escape from an institution in the 1960's and entrust the life of their daughter with a stranger they met the night they escaped. One of the main characters was caught and sent back to the institution, but the other character escaped and lived on the run for many years. I loved the main characters and I felt the story was heartbreaking, but had a great ending.

2.A Dark and Lonely Place

I really did enjoy this book, although the overuse of "Darlin" in the book got on my nerves. That being said, this book is about two times in history. In the early 1900's, a couple in Florida live a life on the run after John Ashley is falsely accused of killing a man. They are devoted to each other and the story follows them through their life on the run with an untimely end. The other part of this story is about present-day where a Miami detective and a model are thrown together in a similiar circumstance and it seems history will repeat itself. This book was a very fast read for me as I found it very interesting.

3. Prarie Tale and Stories I Only Tell My Friends

I'm lumping these two bios together because they were similiar AND they dated each other, which until I read Prarie Tale, I didn't know.  Both biographies were pretty good and although Melissa Gilbert mentions Rob Lowe a lot in her bio, he mentions her maybe once or twice and hardly says anything about their relationship. It was interesting. I think I learned more from Rob Lowe's bio, simply because I didn't know that much about him. I also didn't realize that huge amounts of his part as Soda Pop in the movie The Outsiders were cut from the film. I always wondered why his part in that movie wasn't bigger. Melissa's bio was eye-opening in the fact that I didn't really know what other work she'd done since Little House on the Prarie and I also wasn't aware of her substance abuse problems. Not that I'm that surprised, but still. Interesting.

The other books were good reads too, but the above that I mentioned were my faves of this month. Any books you guys have been reading that you care to recommend?


Jes said...

I recently read "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" and definitely recommend it!

❈ Annie - Blonde Glambition ❈ said...

I am seriously impressed by how many books you've read this month. I need to get on it when it comes to the reading department! The Story of Beautiful Girl sounds really good. I don't think I could read A Dark and Lonely Place simply because I can't stand the use of darlin.

I was about to take my reading goal off of my 30 by 30, but this shows me that it can be done....thanks for the inspiration!!

Mom in High Heels said...

I read the Secret History of the Pink Carnation a few years ago. It was pretty good.
I read Prairie Tales a while back too. I didn't realize Rob Lowe wouldn't mention her very often in his bio (I haven't read that one). Seem odd.

I recently read two really great books. The Mill River Recluse was genius. It was touching and surprising and really well written. It's only .99 on Kindle. I tweeted that I read it and really liked it and the author thanked me. How nice.
I also just finished (yesterday) The House at Riverton. It takes place from pre-WWI-around the late 1990's and is told from the perspective of a housemaid in a English country house and her knowledge of tragedy that took place there in the 1920's. There were twists all through the book and while I figured most of them out, I DID NOT see the ending coming, which is always great IMO. It is thoroughly researched and the writing paints the time periods vividly. It's kind of pricey for Kindle ($12.99!), but it was money well spent IMO.

I'm anxiously awaiting the next books in two of my favorite series: The Sebastian St. Cyr series by CS Harris and the Captain Lacey series by Ashley Gardner. Both series are mysteries set in Regency England. The tag line for Sebastian St. Cry is "Think Mr. Darcy with a James Bond Edge." They're NOT romances!
Both new books come out within a few days of each other in March. I guess I'll be locking myself in the bathroom (the only room in the house I can get complete privacy) with my Kindle for a week or so. :)

I'll have to check out some of your other reads!

Shoshanah said...

Out of all of these the only one I've read is the Pink Carnation. But there are several that I'd love to read. Dreams of Joy being the first since I really enjoyed Shanghai Girls. But I'd also love to read both Rob Lowe's & Melissa Gilbert's memoirs.