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Lois’s best reads of 2011

April 2nd, 2012

Lois’s Best Reads of 2011

Fiction:

Abide with Me, Elizabeth Strout. Just as good the 2nd time around. Depressing yet brilliant.

Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese. Even better the 2nd time around.

Emerald Atlas, John Stephens. (Youth) 3 kids search for a magical book that will save their families and the whole world. Wizards & witches & orphans—oh my! Harry Potter meets Back to the Future.

Home to Harmony, Philip Gulley. First book in Harmony series. Small-town Quaker minister. Feels a bit like Jan Karon’s Father Tim series only funnier.

In Zanesville, Jo Ann Beard. Funny, poignant coming of age novel. Loved the writing.

Left Neglected, Lisa Genova. (author of Still Alice) Woman w/ traumatic brain injury rebuilds her life.

Okay for Now, Gary Schmidt. Further adventures of Doug Swieteck from The Wednesday Wars, who moves to a new town and attends 8th grade with all the humor and pathos of middle school in the ‘60s.

The Alto Wore Tweed. First in Mark Schweitzer’s Liturgical Mystery series. A church organist/choir director solves mysteries and writes terrible hardboiled detective fiction. Light and amusing for church musicians.

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake, Jenny Wingfield. Loved it until a disturbing plot turn near the end.
To Kill a Mockingbird meets Peace Like a River. The nature of miracles for minister in depression era Ark.

Nonfiction:

All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot. Delightful 4 series from the 70’s is a classic that ages well.

Heaven Is For Real, Lynn Vincent with Todd Burpo. 4-year old boy visits heaven and comes back to tell about it.

Picking Cotton, Jennifer Thomson, Ronald Cotton. True story of man falsely imprisoned.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot. 10 years in the writing, story of cells taken from poor black woman in the 50’s that became the basis of cell research. As well-written as Laura Hillenbrand.

Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand. True story of Louis Zamperini’s experiences in WWII. (warning: brutality)

Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, Lisa Scottoline. Suspense novelist-turned-humorist. Compilation of her “Chick Wit” column in Phila. Inquirer. Also liked My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space.

Other good reads:

-City of Thieves, David Benioff. A quest for eggs during the siege of Leningrad. (warning: vulgarity)
-Cleaning Nabokov’s House, Leslie Daniels. Funny & warm. (warning: adult subject matter)
-Couldn’t Keep It to Myself, Wally Lamb. Stories from the women of York Correctional Institution.
-Father Fiction, Donald Miller. Author of Blue Like Jazz deals with growing up without a father.
-Growing Up Laughing, Marlo Thomas. Memoir of her family & interviews with 22 other comedians.
-How to Bake a Perfect Life, Barbara O’Neal. Light & delicious, reminded me of Love Walked In.
-State of Wonder, Ann Patchett. Another gripping story by the author of Bel Canto.
-The Hunger Games Series, Suzanne Collins. (YA) Disturbing subject matter but riveting storytelling.
-The Irresistible Henry House, Lisa Grunwald. Henry is a practice baby in 50’s America.
-The Last Unicorn, Peter Beagle. (youth) A magical quest, lyrical and humorous at times.
-The Confession, John Grisham. Dying convict tries to save innocent man from the death penalty.
-Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, Nina Sankovitch. (Yearmoir) Nina reads a book a day for a year.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Keith  |  April 2nd, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks for posting! It’s always fun to see what you like. And where your tastes lie… (Or is that lay? I think either might work here… :-))

  • 2. lswagerty  |  May 9th, 2012 at 6:59 am

    You say potato, I say potahto–keep those book tips coming!

  • 3. Alice Tubley  |  May 8th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    What fun thanks for the list 🙂
    I’ll keep it in my box when I’m looking for a good read 🙂
    blessings – Alice

  • 4. lswagerty  |  May 9th, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Alice-glad to hear you’re still reading! Keep me posted on your favorites too.

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