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Sunday Salon: Books Read in March, 2011

Posted by Sherry on 4/2/2011 in Booklists, General, Sunday Salon |

The Sunday Salon.com

First of all, announcing: The National Homeschool Book Award Homeschoolers will vote for one of four nominees to win the award in the inaugural year of this children’s book award.

Adult Fiction
She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell. Semicolon review here.
The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith. I’m just getting around to this latest in Mr. McCall Smith’s series about traditionally built lady detective Precious Ramotswe and her assistant Mma Makutsi. I actually think this series, contrary to typical expectations, gets better with each installment. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series is comfort food for traditional readers. There’s a new book in the series just out this month: The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party.
Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate. The accented dialog in this Texas chick-lit novel about a reality TV producer who finds true reality in the small town of Daily, Texas was a bit overdone, but the story was readable and entertaining. Read on my Kindle.
After the Leaves Fall by Nicole Baart. Also a Kindle read. Review will be forthcoming.

Young adult and children’s fiction
Taking Off by Jenny Moss. Set in Houston in 1986, the time of the space shuttle Challenger crash. I remember these events, so how could I not become absorbed in this coming-of-age novel about a girl and her dream and her admiration for Christa McAuliffe?
Trash by Andy Mulligan. Excellent mystery/action/adventure story about poor garbage picker children living next to the trash dump in the Philippines who find a valuable treasure in the garbage. Resilience and courage were the hallmarks of the young protagonists in this thriller for kids.
Sent (The Missing: Book 2) by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I had to read this next book in Haddix’s The Missing series since it deals with the two princes in the Tower and Richard III. I’m still with Josephine Tey and the Richard defenders, but Haddix’s take on the story was enjoyable anyway.
Bitter Melon by Cara Chow. Semicolon review here.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I read this one because my teens have been reading this book and a newer one by this author. I found it disturbing because of the very unlikeable characters and the toxically self-absorbed teen culture that is described. I think Ms. Oliver probably describes the teen/high school world quite accurately; it’s just a world that I’m sorry that anyone has to inhabit. Even in a book. Read more about the book itself, rather than my reaction to it at Reading Rants, Rhapsody in Books or Life With Books. Many other reviews are only a Google search away.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Of the two by this author, I liked this dystopian novel the best. Very sad.

Nonfiction
The Great Silence: Britain from the Shadow of the First World War to the Dawn of the Jazz Age by Juliet Nicolson. Semicolon review here.
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. Semicolon review here.
Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Semicolon thoughts here.
What Good Is God? by Philip Yancey. The next book for the Faith ‘n Fiction Roundtable, to be discussed at the end of April.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy by Eric Metaxis. Excellent. One of the best nonfiction biographies I’ve read in a good while. After having finished the book and re-read the criticism, I can say that I think this bit of fault-finding is both unwarranted and unfair. Metaxis did a good job with writing about a complex man, and I found myself both admiring and questioning Bonhoeffer’s life and decisions. That’s a good balance.

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