Book Roll 2013

Open House: A Novel – A story of how a woman finds her strength once her marriage falls apart through unexpected friendships.

Midwives: A Novel – This journey through one midwives most horrific career moment is told through the eyes of her daughter. The majority of the book takes place inside the courtroom as both sides try to sway the jury in their favor.

A Lesson Before Dying: A Novel – based in a small Southern town in the 1940s this story chronicles two men’s struggle to turn the unexpected in to a surprising lesson. A young man convicted of a crime has never been educated and it becomes one man’s journey to teach him as he marches towards his death.

Life of Pi – As one boy’s journey to a new country ends in disaster he learns to use his faith to muster the will to live, trapped on a lifeboat with some unusual travel mates.

Gone Girl – I could not put this book down and would recommend you start reading it right away! The story starts off with one man’s wife disappearing on their 5th year anniversary and chronicles the search that ensues.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie – Hattie is a young girl when she moves North to escape the Jim Crow laws. She marries a man she knows she shouldn’t and proceeds to have a neverending stream of children. The perspective shifts from child to child, weaving together Hattie’s life.
The Pilot’s Wife – Kathryn’s life is turned upside down when her pilot husband is killed in a plane crash. At first the cause of the crash is unknown, but as more details emerge on the crash, Kathryn learns her life isn’t what she believed it to be.

The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton draws you in to the lives of three people set in late 19th Century New York.  Archer, May, and Ellen’s lives are intertwined and only societal expectations seem to keep them on the path that has been expected of them. This classic is a beautifully told story of one man’s love and his sense of duty.

A Hologram for the King – I found this book to be very challenging to get through and am afraid I can’t say it was all worth it. The story follows a depressed man’s journey to a half built Saudi Arabian city. There he is to make a presentation to the King which will win his company the contract. Along the way Alan encounters a number of people struggling to survive in this country full of conservatives (with a thriving underground liberalism).

The Handmaid’s Tale – While sci-fi is certainly not my genre of choice, this book was one that I could not put down. The world of the women in this book is deeply disturbing and frightening. At every turn you hope the sun will come out, but it’s still a worthwhile read.


Are You There God It’s Me Margaret? – A book that takes you back to your childhood and is written by Judy Blume really can’t be anything but good. It was a super quick read and a reminder of what it was like to be a pre-teen girl.

The Things They Carried – This story chronicles the experience of one man and his comrades during the Vietnam War. Each man has something that he considers valuable to him and carries it with him as part of his pack. A great perspective of the Vietnam War through the eyes of it’s soldiers.

Lit: A Memoir – This chronicle of Mary Karr’s struggle with addiction was quite the roller coaster. I found this to be a painful chronicle of her failures and struggles to cope with this disease, but it was touching to see how far she has come.

The Art of Fielding – I loved this book and my only regret was that I started it on a Monday. This was one of those books I simply could not put down and there were many tired work mornings as a result of late night reading. Chad does a beautiful job of weaving together the friendship of the men in this book through the eyes of baseball. Each character is expanded on from a unique point of view.


Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison – I picked up this book after I watched the Netflix series and while it was quite good, the dramatization in the mini-series far exceeds that of real life. The way Piper dealt with life in prison was commendable and it was sad to realize how egregiously we are failing those who are leaving our prison system.

The Known World – This was an interesting perspective on slavery and the time period when both whites and free blacks owned slaves.

The Invisible Bridge  – As andras struggles to move forward he is continuously presented with endless detours. As a Hungarian Jew during World War II he has returned home from Paris (and architecture school) where he spends much of his early adult life in labor camps, struggling to stay alive, worrying about his wife, brothers and friends, trying to find a way to maintain the will to move forward.

Dark Places – In the typical fashion of this author he weaves a story of whodunit. One night the majority of the Day family is murdered. Libby, the youngest daughter and a child at the time, survives the ordeal and implicates her older brother, Ben. As an adult she starts to understand that sometimes things aren’t as clear cut as they seem and decides it’s time to lift the veil of ignorance. If you liked gone girl, you will like this one too.

Geek Love – What starts as an innocent experiment to develop unique acts for a carnival show, quickly gets out of hand. Lil and Al use drugs during pregnancy to create designer children: Aqua boy, Siamese twins,  dwarfed humpback and the very special chick. As the children grow, so does the power dynamic and their understanding of what it means to be special.

Sharp Objects – A young reporter from Chicago returns to her small hometown to investigate the murder of two young girls. Being home challenges her to deal with the childhood loss of her sister while hoping to be the reporter who catches the current killer. This was a bizarre story, not as good as Flynn’s other books, but a quick read.

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead – A great perspective on gender and the inequality women face in and out of the workforce. The book pushes all people to reevaluate how they perceive gender and what biases they hold which could impede ones self as well as others. I think much of this book are repeats of many things Sheryl has said publicly before, but it was nice to have it all in one place.

The Wolf of Wall Street – A true story of one wall street tycoon’s brokerage chop shop, drug induced days, and general philandering. It is much too long for what you get, the story at times is repetitive and drags on.

 

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