I love writing book reviews that end up prompting the author to contact me. I love it even more when it turns out the author lives in my same area. Here is my latest book review for BookPleasures. Check it out if you are interested in nonfiction works about social justice. Also, if anyone lives near Whidbey Island, the author, Jen Marlowe, will be speaking about the book tomorrow night. This is the link to information about that.
I just finished reading Susannah Cahalan’s Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, for BookPleasures. You can find my review here. It is a quick read, but frightening in the way psychological thrillers can be – that is, if you’re prone to being a tad bit of a hypochondriac when it comes to your own mental health.
- Louise Erdrich’s “The Round House” (she is a wonder, this one – I love everything she writes),
- Alex Mitchell’s “All Gone” – a memoir about her mother’s memory loss/dementia and how the author copes by cooking up memories of her childhood dishes. I enjoyed this one, but am glad I didn’t spend the money for the hard copy because it was such a quick read.
- Karen Thompson Walker’s “The Age of Miracles” – I am sad that this one is on my iPad because I know both of my girls would LOVE this book, but they have Kindles, so I may need to buy it again for them. The premise is incredibly unique and the story was fascinating, especially to someone who tends to get lost in philosophical reverie. I didn’t even know it was supposed to be a teen book until after I read it. Loved this one!
- Amanda Coplin’s “The Orchardist” – this one felt like a Pacific Northwest, caucasian “Roots” in a way. It was epic, spanned generations, and completely sucked me in with the imagery and the fact that I live not far from where it was set. Tremendous read.
- M.L. Stedman’s “The Light Between Oceans” – this book made me cry in a good way. Again, the premise was unique and made me think well beyond the pages of the book. Loved it.
- Darcy Lockman’s ” Brooklyn Zoo: The Education of a Psychotherapist” – a memoir of Lockman’s residence in a Brooklyn psych hospital. Well-written, quick read. Mostly it made me sad about the state of our healthcare system (especially as it relates to mental illness) and how we train our physicians.
- Sarina Berman’s “Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World” – Amazing story! Amazing. I devoured this book and was so sad when it was over. One of my favorite works of fiction this year.
- Laura Moriarty’s “The Chaperone” – fun, light read that I would recommend for summer vacation.
- John Irving’s “In One Person” – I had to work to finish this one. Actually, it was the first third of the book that was work. The rest was pleasurable, but I only kept reading it because I heard Irving interviewed on a local public radio station and I find him so fascinating. Ultimately, I enjoyed it, but felt like it could have used some editing. (Look at me – novice writer saying that about John Irving! Ha! Who do I think I am?)
- Liz Moore’s “Heft” – My friend Carrie raved about this book, and I trust her taste, so I downloaded it. What a beautiful story! Another favorite fictional work, for sure.
- Tupelo Hassman’s “girlchild” – I think I wrote about this book earlier this year, but I have to say it again – I think it’s brilliant.
- Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken” – this one made me grieve so much for the folks fighting wars all over the planet. It also made me wish they could all unburden themselves of their stories and see them in a different light.