In no particular order:
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – book club pick for September – This book was a whole lot of crazy between the way it was written (jumping back and forth between character perspectives and different forms of narration, i.e. e-mails, diaries, memos) and the characters themselves. While it lends itself to good discussion, I needed a dose of sanity after I finished it. Read it if you are good at coping with crazy.
- Start With the Backbeat: a Musical Novel by Garine B. Isassi* – I had a hard time connecting with this book. While I could appreciate the story lines, I had a hard time picturing New York City in the 1980s from the eyes of an early-20-year-old Texan woman. I had to fight through the disconnect to finish it; but I enjoyed the story nonetheless. I wouldn’t recommend it unless 1980s punk is your thing.
- The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe – book club pick for August – A historical fiction novel based on the real life woman Anita Hemmings, the first African American woman to attend Vassar College and who did so while “passing” as a white woman. The book was a quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately, I had to return my copy to the library while I had 100 pages to go. I finished it quickly once it came back to the library as I needed to know who found out Anita’s truth. Recommended.
- Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch – book club pick for July – A college girl’s mother passes away and she reads through her mother’s journals, leading her to Italy. This book follows her adventures as she meets her father and other people her mother once knew. A very quick read, I read most of the book while suffering from an ear infection over July 4th weekend. It’s a good book to get lost in Italy with when you need to get out of the US and you don’t have the time to travel or you’re stuck with a fever while your friends are BBQing and beaching.
- Meternity by Meghann Foye* – Of all the BookSparks books, this was by far my favorite. As the main character is 30 years old and sees the special treatment her pregnant coworkers receive, I look at my life and see the same. I was able to truly appreciate and relate to the main character. Are you in your early 30s and single? This book is a must read!
- Parting Gifts by Katrina Anne Willis* – A mother with Alzheimer’s, a daughter with breast cancer, and a daughter who is a married mom of two. This book teaches you not to take family for granted. While semi-depressing, the lessons are worth it.
- The Goodbye Year by Kaira Rouda* – Are you a high school senior? Are you the parent of a high school senior (or high school student)? Then you’ll be able to enjoy this book as you’ll be much better able to relate to the characters than I was.
- A Girl Like You: A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel by Michelle Cox* – This book was a mystery that kept me glued to the pages. I look forward to reading more Henrietta and Inspector Howard novels.
- The Hole in the Middle by Kate Hilton* – Another main character to whom I can relate as she tries to do it all. I may not be balancing my kids and PTA, but I can appreciate wanting to do her best at work while maintaining a healthy lifestyle outside of the office and balancing friends and other extracurricular activities.
- Somewhere Out There by Amy Hatvany – I vaguely remember this book about two sisters who led incredibly different lives after their mother gave them up for adoption. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads so it must have been pleasant.
- The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley – This book is about several very different characters whose lives intersect and the lessons they learn from each other. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, a rating I don’t often give easily.
- Come Away With Me by Karma Brown – A woman’s life unexpectedly changes for the worse after a car accident. Similar to Eat, Pray, Love, which I didn’t read, this book is a woman’s journey as she accepts her fate after the accident. Some parts came as a shock; but it was an overall good read.
I’m currently reading The Diviners by Libba Bray. The paranormal isn’t my usual cup of tea so we shall see how this goes.
Tell me, dear Fitters, have you read any of these books? What did you think? What are you currently reading and what should I read next?
Disclaimer – I received the * books courtesy of BookSparks in return for my review. I received no other compensation. All opinions are my own. These books should have been read spring 2016 as part of the April Showers Blog Tour Spring Review. I learned that I cannot read a book in a week.