We Were Liars by e. lockhart
This is a tale about lies – the ones we tell ourselves and the ones we tell others. This was my auction recovery book: The day after the event I hid in my room, away from people and expectations, and read this book in one sitting. Most of the reviews and hype around this book focuses on the plot twist/ending, but I haven’t yet decided whether I thought the twist was surprising or predictable. What I have decided is that I like Lockhart’s writing. Her prose is poetic and varied in style. She effectively uses a narrative voice full of imagery with doses of magical realism.
The Martian by Andy Weir
This was my book club’s pick this month. I don’t think I would have selected this book on my own but was glad to have this “too nerdy” read forced on me. Turns out, I dig nerdy. After a dust storm and an unfortunate accident, astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead and his crew evacuates Mars without him. His epic battle for survival is peppered with real science and more math than I’ve ever encountered in a novel. The narrative broadened beyond the stranded astronaut’s storyline just in time for me – adding much needed diversity in perspective and variety in characters. I recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction and wants to try a book that is heavy on the science without losing the joys of a great novel.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Jenny Lawson, also known as The Bloggess, is funny and irreverent. She wrote this book. Ergo, this book is funny and irreverent. Funny in small doses. Reading just a chapter at a time, I was able to give myself over to the joys of this book: I could embrace the rambling writing style, allow myself to laugh (hard) at things I shouldn’t, enjoy the reveal of quirks and accept that things that were funny or quirky would be proceeded by Lawson telling me to brace myself for something funny or quirky.
Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
Loaned by a friend, I enjoyed this book in the Maisie Dobbs series. I love mysteries but had to reframe my expectations part way into the book. It’s more novel than mystery. What it lacks in thrill it makes up for in a plucky heroine and charming between-the-wars historical settings.
The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
If your parents embarrassed you, you’ll feel better after meeting Caleb and Camille Fang. This story alternates between the past for of a family of performance artists and the modern day lives of the children trying to overcome the residue of their strange upbringing. The book is well written and entertaining. It kept me turning pages, even when it took sharp detours into a-little-weird-for-my-taste territory. In the end, I found it to be a delightful tour of quirky.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
A story of desire, fortune, fortitude and gratitude, this Chinese folktale won a Newberry Honor Award and my heart. I read this book aloud to Son. We were both captivated by this enchanting story with a strong heroine and enduring lessons. Imaginative and powerful, this will be the book we measure all others by for a while. Son loved it so much he wanted to spend his allowance on a copy for a friend who had not read it yet.