The list author says: "I realized one day that I had not read a book in years. Marriage, motherhood, and life had taken all my spare time. Life is short and there are so many good books. After not reading for years I had a hard time knowing where to start again. This is a record of my reading journey. Maybe this list will help someone start their own journey back to reading. Enjoy!!!!"
"This is an engrossing story that will completely enfold you in it's world. Do not be daunted by the length of the book or the name of the author.This is a novel of two different love stories that span the decades. The setting is revolutionary Russia. Tolstoy has a way of lavishly illustrating the setting of this book yet never wasting a word."
"The main characters are torn apart by WWII. Most of the book takes place in France and focuses on life directly before and after the Nazi invasion. The characters are rich in description and the ending elusive. An exciting read. I like this book enough to read another by the same author (Bird Song)"
"This is a quick read and a great High school book. There is a suicide, death, and some reference to sex. So, probably not for Jr high kids. The language is in regional dialect and it changes as the storyteller gets older and more educated. Interesting."
"I was very disappointed by this book. I found it to be a monotonous chronicle of a obsessed man. The list of the main character's conquests is sad and pathetic. I see this as a textbook example of a teenage stalker who never grows up. I was glad to turn the last page. The language is beautiful but there is is too much extraneous information included."
"This is a good book but I think you need to read it more than once. I was a little confused the first time through. The second I was moved. It's thought provoking, insightful, challenging, and balanced. It may enlighten you to the past and the present, it did me."
"This book is told from 5 different points of view in a rotational way. This may sound like it would be confusing but it wasn't. It was fast paced and thought provoking. I love thought provoking! I would definitely recommend this book. I'll look for another by this author."
"A 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. It's a book I wanted to put down after a while. That's not a good sign. If you love Native American history, you'll love this book. I'm not that into it. The description of place and character are beautiful but voluminous. I skipped over parts to get back to the story."
"Amazing, razor sharp, crystal clear, and reflectively eye opening. Love this book!!! This is an everyday story and we all probably know an Olive Kitteridge. What is incredible is the way the book is sculpted and revealed. I savored the entire book and walked away changed a little. This is a must read!"
"Wonderfully written book about a single mom and her daughter. A book about how the past repeats itself and why. This book caused me to reexamine my past, present, and the future of myself and my daughters. Elizabeth Strout again turns everyday life into riveting fiction. I am a definite fan. Highly recommend!"
"This book is technically teen fiction. This book is engaging for adults also. Very well written, fast paced, and thought provoking. Did I say very well written? Told by the voice of the angel of death. Definite quotable moments in this book."The journey continued as if everything had happend."Simple but eye catching turns of phrase get your attention constantly I give it a 9."
"I read this for a book club. Very quick read. The book is about abortion and how it affects everyone it touches. Eye opening detail and a realization of the gravity of abortion were center stage in this book. This a simply written book but it did engage me. I don't know that I would look for another by this author but I'm glad I read it for perspective."
"Mysteries aren't usually my first choice. This book hooked me. I read it in 3 days and. The story is intriguing. However, I never really feel like I get to know the main character, Bess. Her feelings and emotions escape me. I wanted more emotion from her character."
"I was disappointed with this book. The story was repetitive and overlapping. The thrust of the story was original and interesting. The telling of the story became muddy and numbing over the course of the book. Scale of 1 to 10... I give it a 5"
"This nonfiction book is told in a very readable fashion. It feels like a fact filled novel. The story is shocking and eye opening. Wonderfully expressive language is used through out. A touch of humor mellows the horrifying details. On a scale of 1 to 10 I give it an 8. Interesting read!"
"I read this book over the weekend! I couldn't put it down. This author always has a way of exposing our vulnerabilities in such a naked and visceral way. She pulls at your heart and somehow always manages to surprise you. A thought provoking, moving, consuming book. Scale of 1 to 10 a 8 or 9."
"Carr's other works are better then this one. The Alienest was the best. This one is in the same style but it is set in the future and actually predicts some furture events accurately. Realitively quick read, put it down every few chapters (got bored), but I did want to finish it. The ending ties things up nicely but is kind of the easy way out. 1 to 10? I give it a 6."
"The setting is 11th century England. The sorry revolves around conflicts between nobles, peasants, and the church. I found it to be an engrossing journey. However, I felt there was too much time devoted to detailed descriptions of building techniques and architecture. Over all a great read. I give it 7 or 8 out of 10."
"The book opens with a small boy and ends with a grown man. You would never guess evolution this boy will go through. Interesting. This book made me go to the library and do some additional digging into the persecution of communists in this country. I still like Kingsover's, The Poisonwood Bible, better. However, this book is worth a read. 7.5 out of 10"
"A grown up Little House on the Prairie. Written in first person, this book feels like a mix between a diary, biography, fiction, adventure book. Read it in a few days. Compelling stories pull you along and you end up reading into the night. This book is the sequel. I will be getting the first book tomorrow. I want the whole story! 8.5 out of 10."
"Jeanette Walls tells the captivating story of her life. I read this book in 3 days. The format of the book keeps pulling you forward. Insightful, intelligent, inspiring, book about perseverance, acceptance, and forgiveness. Ms Walls life was excruciatingly hard but, somehow, she's found peace and success. 8.5 out of 10"
"Eye opening story of the Chinese American immigration experience before, during, and after WWII. A story of loss and perseverance. Two sisters view their history and reality in two very different ways. I wish this book would have tied up more loose ends at it's conclusion. I'm American. American's always want tidy endings. I give this book a 7.5 out of 10"
"I needed a book to transport me and this one did. Not a true historical fiction book but deals with history. Huge romance, danger, battles, triumph, and an ending that keeps you hanging. I've already checked out the sequel from the library. Good summer read. I give it a 8 out of 10."
"This is the sequel to Outlander. I started this book directly after finishing Outlander. Ms Gabaldon took me on another journey. She completely drew me into her world. Well written and engaging, this book is a must read if you've read Outlander. Romance, tragedy, humor, and adventure are all in this book. By the end I had to put the book down because I was crying. Good book. 8 out of 10"
"Third book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. By this point I'm considering the characters family. This book reunites our hero and heroine. There is continued adventure, intrigue, and romance. I'm starting to talk with a Scottish accent and have an new appreciation of kilts. It still an 8 out of 10 on my scale."
"I'm a big Allende fan. This book was not my favorite. It wasn't as satisfying as some of her others. It is still worth a read and if your a Allende fan you won't be able to help yourself. I give this book a 8 out of 10."
"Yes, I had to read the 4th book in the series. I wasn't disappointed. Some how Gabaldon keep you engaged and guessing at the out comes. This series has been a fun escape for me. I've even learned a bit of history along the way. Still a 8 out of 10"
"I finished this book in 3 days. Very engaging read. It explores the psychology of our perceptions and our choices. The story slowly peels back the layers of the main characters reality. The ending wasn't what I would have chosen but it was surprising none the less. I give it a 7 out of 10. Needed a better ending."
"Byzantine Constantinople is the setting and deadly plots drive the story. A winding and complicated story gives you an eye opening view of the Crusades. I did research, while reading this book, to better understand geography, customs, and the faith. At times I became discouraged by the sometimes confusing narrative. That said...I still read this sizable book in a week."
"After my last book I needed a easy read. This book did it's job. Peaceful landscapes and a story of "Plain" people were comforting. Yes, it's an elementary read. That's o.k. sometimes. I think I'll even read the next in the series."
"This is the last book in the Abram's Daughters series. I read all 5. They are easy reading and not graphic. If you need something to enjoy a calm fall day, these would fit the bill. There not challenging or dramatic. They are peaceful and pastoral. Scale of 1 to 10....5."
"This is an thorough discussion about the forgiveness seen after the Amish school house shooting in 2006 in Ohio. Thoughtfully explains the Amish culture and compares it to common English culture. It clears up misconceptions and faulty explanations in the immediate wake of the shootings. This book would be easy to understand for someone who know very little about the Amish culture and history."
"Ms Gregory writes in the historical fiction genre. Thankfully this book was not as sexual as some of her books can be. The focus is on Katherine Queen of England. We are told of her childhood, first marriage, and her successful years as queen. At the end we are given a preview of her future. This is a solid piece of fiction. I give it a 7. Didn't knock my socks off but it was worth the time."
"Loved this book! Not a boring page. I read this book very slowly because I knew it will be a long time before book 3 comes out. Strongly recommend Patrick Rothfuss. I'm normally an historical fiction reader. Rothfuss has turned me into a fantasy lover. I give this book a 9 out of 10!"
"I wanted to give up on this book in the beginning. Tons of characters with unfamiliar names made the beginning hard to get through. In fact I feel that many of these names never even needed to be introduced. Beyond the confusion at the beginning, this was a engaging story with unforeseeable twists and turns. I give it a 7 out of 10. I was glad I pushed through."
"I thought this was going to be a love story. It is quite the opposite. It's an example of how our unrealistic expectations can destroy our present happiness. It opened my eyes to the fact that twisted romantic fantasies have been around for a long time and they aren't just cause by modern media. It left me feeling like loving the one you're with is usually the best choice. Great novel 8 out of 10"
"Sequel to The Pillars of the Earth. Flowing story with well developed characters. Less architectural detail in this book, a big plus to me. Details are well tied up at the end. A satisfying read. I give it an 8 out of 10."
"My 3rd Du Maurier novel. I liked this one the best so far. Lots of mystery and suspense and longing love affair. Again, well written and well balanced. Though the ending frustrated me, it was typical of the time she wrote the story. 9 out of 10."
"This classic is about the life of poor Chinese farmer in pre-revoloution China. I show the extreme poverty and huge struggles of the rural Chinese population at that time. This book, though considered a classic, was not as engaging as I assumed it would be. I feel it is an historically important book and a milestone for women authors. I give it a 7 out of 10"