Three Good Books

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I was on a real reading kick a few months back, but I’ve lost my reading groove lately. It’s just that all of our favorite after-the-kids-go-to-bed t.v. shows (24, Lost, The Unit, Heroes, Amazing Race, American Idol, Chuck) are having new episodes and we’ve been taking up most nights catching up with our dvr! But I’ve managed to get a few good books in over the past few weeks, and it does feel good to escape into another world for a bit each day. Here are the three I’ve just finished:

Open House, by Elizabeth Berg

Loved this one! I have to admit I was repelled by the fact that it was in Oprah’s book club, because it makes me feel like I’m just too lame to find a good book on my own and have to rely on Oprah…but I got over that quickly. This is a wonderful character driven novel about a woman whose husband unexpectedly asks for a divorce and how she finds herself and what matters in the process. I read this one really quickly because I just loved the characters (a contrast to the next one on my list, which I read just before this one.) I am so excited to find a new author to love! I’m bringing another of hers on our Vegas trip this week.

The Middle Place, by Kelly Corrigan

The memoir of a young mom who is fighting breast cancer while her father is fighting bladder cancer. The writing in this book is just how I like it: witty, honest, funny and real. I would love to read something else written by her. As for this book, my problem was that I didn’t like her family. Much of the book is spent praising her father (who to me sounded like one of those guys who wants the world to revolve around him and his daughter and thinks the rules don’t apply to them…annoying) and criticizing her mother for silly things like trying to set boundaries and counteracting her husband’s overbearing personality and such. I think I’ve just known too many of these kinds of families who think the world should be endlessly thrilled with them and their “clan.” Despite the fact that halfway through the book I (personally) was tired of the family, I did enjoy the book and I would recommend it for a quick read. 

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron

Okay, so this is a children’s book. But as a former elementary school teacher, I never get tired of reading good preteen fiction. This one won the Newbery Medal and I really liked it. It’s the story of a girl living in the desert with her guardian, and basically develops her character through the little activities of her life. A great, great little book. Very short, sweet and quick. I love any kid’s book that teaches children that they are valuable and loved no matter what they think or do. 

We’re off to Las Vegas on Saturday for our family vacation and we can’t wait! Lights, shopping, hiking and exploring, pools, 90 degree weather…aaah! See you next week.

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6 thoughts on “Three Good Books

  1. Great!! I’ll have to check those out {maybe not the second one, I don’t like family drama}. Thanks for the reviews!! I also love good preteen literature. In college, I took a children’s literature course, and we read 14 books in one semester! There were some really good ones in there. The Giver was one of my faves. I’ll have to check this one out.

    I also need to start gathering good, quality books that my daughter can read.

    Have a great day!

  2. Several people recommended the Middle Place to me but I didn’t like it at all. You are right – she spent too much time yattering on about her dad and all the other men in her family. I was hoping for more about how she was dealing with cancer – the nitty gritty stuff, which I felt she skipped over as if it wasn’t important detail. I abandoned the book halfway through and am taking it back to the library today.

    I loved the Higher Power of Lucky.

    Nice photo too!

    • I’m glad to hear I wasn’t the only one! I agree, she really played down her cancer battle. I would’ve liked to hear more about that, too.

  3. Elizabeth Berg is one of my favorite authors. I own every one of her books. If you haven’t read it yet get “Talk Before Sleep” next. It’s a beautiful story about a friendship through breast cancer. Kind’ve what “The Middle Place” was missing but in a novel! As always, I love your photo. Blessings.

  4. oh – california poppies – such lovely memories!

    I will be spending the next several months reading/studying for my graduate exam in Englsh…four years overdue!

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