Friday, April 1, 2011

Fiction & Non-Fiction

Here's what I've been reading! It's taken me a few months to read all of these, let's see what I can remember about them.

The Heights by Peter Hedges
(Audio) A young family lives in an affluent neighborhood.  The husband and wife switch roles, he stays home with the kids, she goes back to work.  As they both begin moving in different circles their relationship shifts.  Add in an old flame and a new debutante and this tale gets alarmingly more interesting.  See how they navigate the crises of identity that they all seem to have simultaneously.  It's written very thoughtfully and this author presents it in such a way that I didn't know what to wish would happen.  A very interesting ending too.  Not exactly what I expected.

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
I admit it, I didn't finish it.  This is a non-fiction book about the theology and psychology of men's development.  As the mom of a boy, I was really curious. It was a worthwhile read but not hugely entertaining.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
I really enjoyed this book and could have taken notes and read it again.  This non-fiction book is all about Gretchen Rubin's goal-setting for a happier life.  The goals, while specific to her, absolutely can be translated to the reader.  My favorite goal of her's was to "Be Gretchen".  While I have adopted the philosophy to 'Be Ellen', I just don't think it sounds as good, as 'Be Gretchen'.  LOL, so I often tell myself to 'Be Gretchen' knowing that I am not Gretchen, but I'm telling myself to be authentic.  I'd like to go back and re-read this book one day.  She has an active website based on the goal-setting principles in the book.  Google it.

The Search by Nora Roberts
(Audio) The heroine is the survivor of a vicious attack who has already re-built her life.  She is a dog trainer and trainer for search and rescue dog teams.  Of course a handsome newcomer to town enters the scene at the same time as new crimes erupt that are chillingly close to the crime she survived.  I can't remember her name! LOL.  But I liked that she was not shrinking violet and took prudent steps to protect herself and maintain her independence.

Two for the Dough Janet Evanovich
A Stephanie Plum mystery.  I heard a rumor that Stephanie Plum is coming to the big screen with Katherine Hiegl playing Stephanie.  I'd go see it!  In general though, I usually like books more than I like the movies.  These mysteries are fun and funny and irreverent and just steamy enough to be interesting. Stephanie gets herself in the most odd predicaments.  I also just read the next book in the series, Three to Get Deadly, and the exact same review can apply.  They are fun books, but not high literature.

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen 
The sheltered only child of the town upperclass, (again, I can't remember her name...ugh) the heroine is in her mid-twenties still living with her mother and catering to her needs and appearances until... a very unusual house guest arrives in the form of a lady from the wrong side of the tracks.  The guest remains secret from the mother. The heroine begins to see life a little differently as she begins to help the visitor. There is much 'magic' in this book.  Is the visitor magic? The new friends have certain curious quirks to their personalities. A little love thrown in, friendship abounds and mystery.  A fun book.  I'd read another book by this author.
 Cum Laude by Cecily Von Ziegesar 
(Audio) I can't believe I listened to this book all the way through.  It's about incoming college freshman at a small liberal arts college in the Northeast. All the stereotypes of college kids are reinforced in this book.  It reminds me of the movie Animal House.  I totally can see this being a movie. It wouldn't be a big hit, but likely would become a cult classic for the college bound.

The Daughters Break the Rules by Johanna Philbin
Chickee and I read the first book in the series, this is the second.  The first book we read together. It's about 15-ish year old daughters of rich and famous people in a privileged world.  The first book was tame enough.  I wish Chickee had waited until she was 13-14 to read it, but she is reading so far above her age that it's hard to hold her back.  I read this one on my own to preview it for her, make sure the main characters aren't growing up too fast.  There was a first kiss in it, nothing more.  Still, the brands and clothes that these characters talk about are completely foreign to us her in the middle class Midwest. Also, they drop money like it's nothing, but this book in particular addresses the money issue in a very good way.  I'll probably read it with her now that I've previewed it.  The author is so on point with the drama of the teenagers that it is realistic and likely to really appeal to pre-teens.


Ripples In Water said...

I'm slowly working on the plum series, along with about 6 other books lol. I usually read sci-fy/fantasy but a co-worker loaned me a couple of plum's and I totally enjoyed them! The character descriptions (and variety of characters) is awesome!!

Glorianne said...

I really enjoy Sarah Addison Allen's books. I've read the Sugar Queen, Garden Spells and Chasing the Moon (or something like that). I like her quirky characters and touch of magic. They make me happy. For a quick fun break I recommend them.