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Jen Jen's Reads


Flight Behavior
by Barbara Kingsolver

I'm completely engrossed in this story about Dellarobia, a young wife and mother pining for some intellectual activity in her life. I'm reminded of when I read Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer—I moved about the house, book in hand, captured by the tale. Like Prodigal Summer, Flight Behavior is a great blend of good storytelling and gentle education (in this case about the misdirected migration of butterflies and the implications of that).

book   Landscape at the End of the Century
by Stephen Dunn

I'm savoring this book. One of Dunn's poems, On the Death of a Colleague, was featured in Writer's Almanac earlier this summer and I couldn't resist reading more of his poetry.


The Wake of Forgiveness
by Bruce Machart,
recommended by Peter Geye.

The novel is set in Lavaca County, Texas, spanning the years 1910–1926. A blood feud erupts after the forbidden marriages of a wealthy Czech landowner's sons to the daughters of a prominent Spanish horse breeder who comes to Texas seeking refuge from the Mexican Revolution. I’m listening to the audio.

Sally Sally's Reads


Theory of Remainders
by Scott Carpenter

15 years before this book begins, Philip’s teen-age daughter was murdered in France and, although a man confessed, her body was never recovered. Philip and his wife divorced, and he returned to the United States, making a mostly unsuccessful attempt to start over. As the book begins, he returns to France for the funeral of his former mother-in-law, and is confronted with all the old, unresolved issues from the time of his daughter’s death.


by Richard Russo

Russo’s latest book is a memoir, focusing primarily on his relationship with his mother, a single mother who fiercely declared her independence, while being very dependent on others, particularly him.  The book is touching, moving, and of course, beautifully written. Fans of Russo’s fiction and those who have struggled with a difficult parent will be particularly interested in this book. The audio is read by Russo himself, a definite bonus.


The Casual Vacancy
by J.K. Rowling

How do you follow the Harry Potter series? The Casual Vacancy is Rowling’s first book for adults (not to be confused with The Cuckoo’s Calling, which she wrote under the name of Robert Galbraith.) It displays her ability to create a world of unique characters, particularly young adults. It’s much darker than the Potter books, and the characters aren’t as appealing. The book is set in the small village of Pagford, and follows events when the death of a parish council member creates a casual vacancy on the council. I’m listening to the audio, which I think helps understand the slang and usage more easily than reading it on the page.

Ann ann's Reads


The Fault In Our Stars
by John Green

This is the story of Hazel and Gus, a couple who meet at a cancer support group for teens. Their hopes and dreams are not unlike those of their peers, but are at times bigger and have a greater sense of urgency. As a reader, I gained a clearer view of the struggles faced by young people who have cancer as well as some of the emotions experienced by their families and friends. The Fault In Our Stars is a sad story, but Green manages to interject humor and insight. The friendship between Gus and Hazel enriches their lives and the lives of those who read their story.


Where'd You Go Bernadette?
By Maria Semple

Bernadette is a talented but disillusioned architect. She, her computer whiz husband, and their likeable ten year old daughter live in Seattle and are planning a trip to Antarctica when Bernadette suddenly disappears.  The events that follow read like a wacky film or sitcom.  If you’re looking for a fun, lighthearted escape, this might be the book for you!

Gail Beth's Reads



The Orchard
by Theresa Weir

This memoir shares the difficult childhood of the author. Her spirit, determination and resilience carried her through. She married young, and went to live with her husband on the family farm, which included an apple orchard. Her relationship with her husband deepens as her knowledge of him and of farm life grows. While she alludes to the environmental danger posed by the spray used to kill the codling mother, I would have appreciated further development of that aspect of her story.


Gone Girl
by Gilliam Flynn

The genre of this book (thriller) is outside my normal reading, but my book club selected the book and I started reading. The story is crafted around the mysterious disappearance of a young wife. The book is compelling from the beginning. Chapters alternate between the voices of the husband and the wife, each dispensing clues that propel you into the next chapter. It’s full of surprises to the end, and you’re still left with questions. Don’t miss this book!

Hannah Hannah's Reads



Paris in Love 
by Eloisa James

If you’ve visited Paris, plan to, or just like armchair travel, this is the book for you. James spent a year in Paris with her family, then collected her Facebook entries into this book. It's lively, informative and fun.



Paris: A Love Story
by Kati Marton

This book is somewhat misnamed. It's a memoir Marton wrote after her beloved husband, Richard Holbrooke, suddenly died. She describes her earlier marriage to Peter Jennings and talks of her own exciting career. But she feels most herself in Paris, so the city is well and lovingly described.



Paris, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down
by Rosecrans Baldwin

Another Paris + Love title, and another American writing about living there. He’s a novelist who got a job in a French ad agency, so he actually has a lot to say about Parisians. Instead of tips for tourists we get sass and an involving story. Of the three books, this is the most like a novel.

Hannah J Iain's Reads


The Passage
by Justin Cronin

Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from a doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. Escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey.


Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card

Classic Sci-fi at its best!

Mariah's Reads


Orphan Train
by Kristina Baker Kline

This wonderfully written novel is based on the historical orphan trains, which brought orphans from the East Coast to the Midwest in the early 1900's. These orphans never knew what kind of a family would take them in. In this story, a 91 year old woman, who had been an orphan-train rider, relays stories of her past to a teenage girl, who is helping her clean out her attic. The book provides readers insight into what the life of an orphan-train rider could have been like. This is a must read!



The Cuckoo's Calling
by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

This most recent novel by J.K. Rowling, who initially published the book under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, follows a private detective in the murder case of a famous supermodel. I am really enjoying this book so far, and can't wait to find out what happens!

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