March -- A Month For Some GREAT Books

Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich
In true Louise Erdrich fashion – Shadow Tag is another dark tale involving contemporary Native Americans. The difficulties, the issues, the problems facing Irene America and her famous husband are not so much different that white issues, but somehow Erdrich wraps them in dark swaddling and reading her books is like falling slowly into the La Brea Tar pits.

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
Robert Oliver is a well-known, truly gifted painter who mysteriously and without much explanation attacks a painting in the National Gallery of Art. The story unfolds at the perfect tempo via his psychiatrist, his ex-wife, and the mysterious muse he paints over and over and over and over. If you read just one book this year please let it be The Swan thieves. ♥♥♥

The Help by Kathryn Stockell
It’s 1962, Mississippi, and Skeeter needs a ring on her finger. Constantine, the woman who raised her has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she’s gone. Enter Aibileen and Minny, two black women who will help Skeeter find the truth and make history along the way.♥♥♥♥
The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
Hattie’s boyfriend dumped her – and it’s a good thing since she’s needed at home. Her sister Min has landed back in a psych ward and Min’s kids, Logan and Thebes need a caretaker. To take everyone’s mind off the obvious, Hattie has a wild idea to track down the absent father – so they take off on a remarkable journey across America. Toews puts the ‘fun’ back in dysfunctional. Great book. ♥♥♥

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
I met the most incredible woman at an art retreat I attended recently. During our conversation I ask her to share a few memorable books. Mountains Beyond Mountains was at the top of her list, so I read it. Kidder has an incredible style that puts you smack in the middle of Paul Farmers life –from geeky white trash youth to one of the world’s most beloved doctors, who is quite literally trying to cure the world. A must read for everyone! ♥♥♥

February Books - Gotta Love a Good Read!

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Olive Kitteridge is the glue that holds this little book together, but just barely. As she experiences change in her own life and the surrounding town of Crosby, Maine and its many residents she is forced to deal with her own problems. I can’t believe this book was a 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner in the Letters, Drama and Music category.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
On my list of books to read from a writing workshop, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek isn't a quick read, but I’d call it an environmental classic. Talk about stopping to smell the roses – Dillard spends a year to “see what she can see” as she explores the natural wonders, in her Virginia's Blue Ridge valley acreage.

Remembering the Bone House by Nancy Mairs
Interesting collection of essays. Mairs reconstructs her past by exploring her emotional development as it unfolds in each house she lived in growing up.

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond
A “Picolt-like” book – but Richmond falls a wee-bit short. Still, a decent read.

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
Gregory makes the wars of the Plantagenet’s, the rise of the White Queen, and the missing princes in the Tower of London come to life – as she so skillfully does in almost every historical fiction book she’s ever written. Easy read, entertaining.