Here's the list of what I've read (or abandoned) the past few months:
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
A children's book that perhaps has deeper meaning for adults. Our school librarian believes everyone should read this book in their lifetime. It's a very thought provoking and emotion provoking book about being loved and finding love again. As a children's book, it is short. Plan on reading it twice.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson
Ok, I don't get all the hype... granted... I only read about half of it, then I had to return it to the library because there were holds on it so I couldn't renew it. But, if a book was really compelling, I would have been able to read it faster. It was too much effort to keep all the names straight and not interesting enough for me to try. Maybe I'll go back and finish it later as friends have told me that ultimately, it is worth it.
Flannery O'Connor Habit Of Being
Every once in a while I try to read something 'lofty' that I think will elevate my intelligence. This didn't work as I couldn't get past 50 pages or so. It's letters that Flannery wrote as she was working on her various books. Letters to her editor and letters to her acquaintances. It was a valiant effort on my part, but I really just wasn't interested.
Nick of Time by Ted Bell
The first book of a series that many people will enjoy. A wildly adventurous story about a 12 year old boy during WWII England. The risk of German attack, submarines, time travel, pirates. It was a quick moving book. I liked the fact that there was a cat in the book and the smallest little girl in the book turns into a rather clever little girl. My kids would definitely enjoy this one. It's a reading level of 4th or 5th? grade? It was fun.
Aloha Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
I listened to this one on audiobook. I'm so glad that I listened to it instead of reading it! All the Hawaiian names would have thrown me off because I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to pronounce them in my head. It was a very nice book about a woman who in the midst of an ugly divorce goes to Hawaii to visit a friend who has a bed & breakfast (convenient!). There is much about Hawaiian history and interesting facts about Hawaiian style quilt-making. I enjoyed it, but not likely enough to follow up with other books in the series. If you are a quilter, however, you might really enjoy this book.
Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
This was my favorite book on today's list. A story of two friends through their lifetimes during early China. Arranged marriages, superstitions, matchmakers, the struggles of class and poverty, disease and war. The harsh realities of foot-binding and rituals of daily life. Fascinatingly told within the structure of a story. The meaning of friendship, the pain of betrayal and of regret.