Book List – February, 2012

We have not had a hibernation kind of winter like we usually do and so I haven’t spent as much time reading as I usually do. Everything is a trade-off. I suppose that is a good thing because it means I get out and about more often and it has been delightful not to have to shovel everyday and pile on layers of warm clothing. But cocooning is also nice and I’m sure in future winters I will get to do more of it. So here is my new list of books I want to read, with very little hope that I will finish all the titles on this list (or even my previous lists) any time soon.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, Reagan Arthur, “enchanting debut novel set in 1920’s Alaska”
The Fear Index by Robert Harris, (for the library catalog) “a visionary scientist creates a revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that predicts movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy, but someone is trying to destroy him.”
The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey, “Overcoming a life of hardship and loneliness, Gemma Hardy, a brilliant and determined young woman, accepts a position as an au pair on the remote Orkney Islands where she faces her biggest challenge yet.”
How It All Began by Penelope Lively, “The mugging of a retired schoolteacher on a London street has unexpected repercussions for her friends and neighbors when it inadvertently reveals an illicit love affair, leads to a business partnership and helps an immigrant reinvent his life.
Defending Jacob by William Landay, Andy Barber, a respected member of his community and happy at home with wife Laurie and son, Jacob is blindsided when his 14-year-old son is charged with murder of a fellow student.
Home Front by Kristin Hannah, an exploration of the price of war on a single American family
Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron, Rwandan runner Jean Patrick Nkuba dreams of winning an Olympic Gold Medal and uniting his ethnically divided country, only to be driven from everyone he loves when the violence starts, after which he must find a way back to a better life.
Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwall, this is the 6th volume in the Saxon Tales Series, an epic saga of England. I think I will look for volume 1 and start there. This sounds like a series I would enjoy. #1-The Last Kingdom, #2-The Pale Horseman, #3-The Lords of the North, #4-Sword Song, #5-The Burning Land, #6-Death of Kings
The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus, a chilling world where the speech of children is killing their parents – Esther’s parents, Sam and Claire, end up in a lab intent on creating non-lethal speech – when Sam discovers what is really going on in the lab he realizes he must reunite with his daughter.
The Odds: a love story by Stewart O’Nan, middle aged couple goes all in for love at a Niagara Falls casino when their home ends up in foreclosure and their marriage is on the brink of collapse.
Contents May Have Shifted by Pam Houston, woman stuck in dead-end relationship starts to travel compulsively “finding reasons to love life in far-flung places and ends up finding reasons to stay home”
American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar, Raised in the American Midwest the author shows readers vividly the powerful forces at work on young men and women growing up Muslim in America. His main character, Hayat is a young man who falls for his mother’s friend Mina inappropriately and with consequences.
Hope: a tragedy by Shalom Auslander, Relocating his family to an unremarkable rural town in NY in the hopes of starting over, Soloman Kugel must cope with his depressive mother, a local arsonist and the discovery of a believed-dead historical specimen in his attic.
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson, follows a young woman’s search for the truth about who her mother really is.
Mr. G.: A Novel About Creation by Alan P. Lightman, the story of creation as narrated by God.
Ragnarok by A. S. Byatt, As the bombs rain down on Britain, one young girl is evacuated to the country side. Struggling to make sense of her new wartime life she is give a copy of Asgard and the Gods which transforms her life.
The Spy Who Jumped Off the Screen by Thomas M Caplan, former soldier turned movie star turned spy – a breakneck parable of good and evil with writing that is elegant and powerful.
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, the epic story of a young man’s journey through the mysterious dictatorship of N. Korea
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phillip Sendker, a poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma
West of Here by Jonathan Evison, the stories of people who first inhabited the mythical town of Port Bonita in Washington state from 1887-1891, and those who live there in 2005-2006 and must deal with the damage done by their predecessors
A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay, dark family secret revealed when brother takes sister to childhood vacation site and the repercussions of this secret. Also by the same author, The House I Loved, an ode to Paris, an old Paris woman stays to defend her home against Haussmann’s large scale renovations to the city she loves
Sister by Rosemond Lupton, a NY designer gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch telling her that her younger sister, art student Tess, is missing in London – framed as a letter from Beatrice to Tess the facts are slowly revealed to the reader
The House of Tyneford by Natasha Solomons, a young Jewish woman is forced to flee 1938 Vienna and becomes a parlor maid in England
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, everyone is talking about this book which has recently been made into a movie. It was written as a teen book, but is apparently a book that crosses the boundary between teen lit. and adult lit. This is actually a trilogy: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay.

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