Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog by Lisa Scottoline

Scottoline normally writes best-selling novels featuring lawyers. She also writes a humorous column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and this book is a collection of those columns. Scottoline writes about the concerns of women "of a certain age": family relationships, pantyhose, eating right, and making sure your roots are the right color. Most of the columns are quite funny, and I laughed out loud many times. She also writes about the deep love she has for her mother, her daughter, her dogs, and her women friends, and these columns can be quite touching. I really enjoyed this book! It's a quick, light read and easy to pick up and put down as you have time.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

This story is told from the perspectives of 12 year old CeeCee, who witnessed the deterioration of her mother Camille's mental illness. When a tragic "accident" ends Camille's life, CeeCee is picked up by her wealthy great-aunt Tootie to live with her in Savannah.
CeeCee learns to come to terms with the abandonment of her father and the grief of the loss of her mother. Surrounded by the love and wisdom of the housekeeper Oletta and Tootie's circle of friends, CeeCee flourishes. This is a colorful novel about the friendship of women and letting go of the hurtful past. As Oletta aptly put, "Don't go wastin' all them bright tomorrows you ain't even seen by hangin' on to what happened yesterday... Just breathe out and let go" (p.290.) It is an enjoyable read!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Driftless by David Rhodes

Driftless is set in the small, isolated town of Words, Wisconsin. It follows the stories of several of the townspeople, including a farm couple who are fighting corruption in their milk cooperative, a passionate young pastor, a promising musician, and two elderly sisters. At the center is July Montgomery, once an outsider, who is now a cherished member of the community. The characters are well drawn and the reader quickly comes to care about all of them. It's a novel about small town life, about love and compassion, and about community.

Driftless is the All Iowa Reads selection for 2010. It should generate some great discussions!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

I like Jodi Picoult’s books but when Nineteen Minutes was released, it was one that I did not think I would ever read. I was senior when the Columbine shootings took place and the thought of reading about a school shooting did not interest me. However, Nineteen Minutes is more than a story of a school shooting. It is the story of Peter Houghton who spent his school years being bullied, being in the shadow of his older brother and never feeling like he fit in. Peter’s one and only friend is Josie Cormier, also feels like she has never fit in. She does not know her father, her mother is a judge and being a judge means you have a proper way of acting in public. Peter loses his best friend and protector when entering middle school when Josie becomes part of the popular clique at school. One of the lines in the books really struck me was that Josie does not have friends but has alliances, because at any moment anyone of them could be on the other side. I found myself caring about Peter and thinking back to my own high school experiences and how others were treated. Picoult’s books have a lot of characters and jump from past to present, this can be somewhat confusing but it keeps the book moving. A good read if you are a Picoult fan.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This is a very good book! Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960's, it tells the intertwined stories of three women. Two of the women are black maids in white households and the third is a privileged white woman who recognizes the prejudice in her world and wants to write about it. Don't be intimidated by the length of this book--it reads quickly. It would make a great book club discussion book.