Saturday, December 31, 2016

Catching Up before 2017!

I have been remiss in blogging here, but for once, I have a decent excuse.  I had surgery on my right hand at the beginning of the month, so there's that.  It also meant that I got lots of reading in!  So this is going to be a very brief outline of what I have read and how I liked each book!

1) The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills.  This was a very controversial book when it came out, and with good reason.  I admit that when I finished it, the book left me quite skeptical.  It is non-fiction, by a then-Chicago based journalist who went to Monroesville, Alabama to do a piece (or series) about where To Kill A Mockingbird was based. The author contends that she became very close to Harper Lee and her sister Alice and all of their friends.  Harper Lee was always known as a very closed person, so the whole story didn't ring true for me. But maybe I'm wrong.  For Harper Lee fans, it is an interesting story about the town and the friends of the Lee sisters.

2) Of course after having read the above book, I had to re-read To Kill A Mockingbird, for what I would estimate the 20th time.  Cried at the very end, as I do every single time.  Best book ever.  It will be out of the running for Top Book of 2016, because I would choose it as #1 every year! 

3) Never Goin' Back by Al Roker.  I found this for $1 and, since I am a fan of Al Roker, I grabbed it up.  It is a quick read, telling about his childhood, growing up and his life-long weight struggle. It was interesting and easy to read.

4) Grace by Natashia Deon.  This was an interesting, rather monumental debut novel that was sometimes very interesting to me and other times hard to follow.  It is told by the narrator Grace who was a black slave in the South in the 1840's.  Grace was killed right after giving birth to her only child, a daughter named Josey. Grace followed Josey through-out her life ( kind of like a haunting) trying to protect her from the harsh reality of a slave's life.  This story is about several generations and stayed with me.  

5) The Nix by Nathan Hill.  Not a book I would necessarily recommend, primarily because it was so very long for what the story was.  The story itself was quite interesting, but, oh, what a wordy book! This was also a debut novel and I expect good things to come (hopefully not as verbose!).
It is a novel about a son and his mother and their struggle to reconnect years after she left the son and his father to find her own way in life. Summary: good story but way too long than needed.

6) Redemption Road by John Hart.  I love John Hart's books.  This is his third and I have really liked all of them.  Redemption Road is a mystery that kept me engaged through-out the book.  Several times I thought that I knew who did it, but I was wrong.  And when I though it was the actual killer, I then convinced myself that it wasn't! The story began with a young boy with a gun ready to kill the cop being released from prison for killing the boy's mother thirteen years ago. And meanwhile, other murdered women are showing up.  Who did it???

7) The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney.  This book had been on my radar for some time, but I didn't think that I would especially like it.  However, when I came across it for fifty cents, I decided it was worth a read, and I ended up finding it to be a good book.  It is the story of four adult children who were anticipating receiving The Nest in a few months. The Nest was an investment that their father had made years ago for them and it had, surprisingly, ended up being worth much, much more than the father had ever dreamt it would, or was intended.  And his children already had "spent" their share.  However, the oldest of the four ended up in trouble and their mother decided to use The Nest to help him.  The book is about how the four children handle this.  Good book.

And there you have it.  It is New Year's Eve and I don't anticipate finishing another book before 2017 begins.  My next post will be listing my favorites from 2016!