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2014

December 17th, 2014

Lois’s Best Reads of 2014
*book club ideas

Fiction

*Still Life with Bread Crumbs, Anna Quindlen. Aging photographer reinvents herself. A really good read.

Someone Else’s Love Story, Joshilyn Jackson. Really well written. Best opening line of a novel ever.

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, Joshilyn Jackson. Great writing, funny at times. Love story/mystery.

Gods in Alabama, Joshilyn Jackson. Steel Magnolias meets Fried Green Tomatoes with a whodunit twist.

*Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline. Irish orphan girl sent to Midwest in early 1920s by train. Hist.fiction.

Sycamore Row, John Grisham. Sequel to: A Time to Kill. Courtroom drama from the master storyteller.

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion, Fannie Flagg. Historical fiction. Sookie is descendent of WWII woman pilot.

The Gods of Guilt, Michael Connelly. Riveting courtroom drama starring the Lincoln Lawyer.

The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert. Botanical researcher in 1800’s whose theories match Darwin’s. Great storytelling, although it could have been 100-200 pages shorter.

The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer. Six teens at a summer camp for the arts form lifelong friendships. Deeply drawn characters create a milieu as affecting as Anne Rivers Siddons.

*The Husband’s Secret, Liane Moriarty. Woman reads a letter that changes everything. Book takes off with a whoosh around p.160. Epic epilogue.

*Me Before You, Jojo Moyes. Girl is hired to care for a quadriplegic in hopes she can keep him alive.

*The Girl You Left Behind, Jojo Moyes. Story of painting lost in WWI and recovered 100 years later.

*One Plus One, Jojo Moyes. A single mom, a chaotic family, a quirky stranger & a comic road trip.

The Silver Star, Jeanette Walls. Latest novel from the author of The Glass Castle and Half-Broke Horses.

Eye Contact, Cammie McGovern. Mother of autistic boy helps solve murder of autistic girl at school.

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, Jan Karon. Mitford fans can breathe a happy sigh over this one.

*American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld. Where was I when this came out?! Loosely based on life of Laura Bush.

Nonfiction

*The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Daniel Brown. Reads like a novel. Heart-stopping action. Best story since Sea Biscuit, even for non-sport fans.

The Message, Eugene Peterson. Fresh & readable version of the New Testament.

The Boy on the Wooden Box, Leon Leyson. Memoir. Boy in Poland whose family was saved by Schindler.

Stitches, Anne Lamott. Thoughts on meaning, hope and repair. Good quotes on sensitivity, grief, mending.

*Expecting Adam: A true story of birth, rebirth and everyday magic, Martha Beck. Memoir of Harvard student who finds herself pregnant with Down syndrome baby.

Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed. Advice columns from the author of Wild. Moving, powerful writing & some darned good advice, based on her life stories.

Youth

– Lionboy trilogy (J), Zizou Corder. Charlie’s parents are kidnapped and he must find them. (Piano music included.)
– The Giver (J), Lois Lowry. 50th anniv of this Newberry winner. Dystopian novel of world with no memories.
– Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son, 2nd, 3rd & 4th in the Giver series. Son is a satisfying finale.
– Say What You Will (YA), Cammie McGovern. HS senior with Cerebral Palsy hires students to help her make friends.
– Saving Lucas Biggs (J), Marisa de lost Santos and David Teague. 13-yr-old girl time travels to save her dad.

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