02 March 2011

Last Month in Review: February 2011 Books Read

In homage to Nick Hornby and Believer magazine...

Books read in February 2011


1. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, forthcoming in June 2011.  Really excellent book.  One of the best I've read in a long time.  Folks who enjoyed Bel Canto will find much to praise about this one, too.

2. These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I was actually aiming to read The Long Winter here in the midst of our worst New England winter since I moved here from Mississippi, but it was the only Little House book missing from my set.  Wanted to read how Almanzo & Cap risked their lives to get the hay, and how Almanzo & Royal kept seed corn hidden in their wall and made buckwheat pancakes for Pa that one time...

3. The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai, forthcoming in May 2011.  Fun and light with a few ominous undertones.

4. Clementine and the Family Meeting by Sara Pennypacker.  A book for middle grade readers, forthcoming in late spring of this year.  I wish I had a dad who realizes that a young girl's crisis of identity can only be solved with a grown-up tool belt full of tools and a project to put them to work on.  And ice cream.

5. Pao by Kerry Young, forthcoming in July 2011.  I love reading books about the Caribbean, but this one was a bit different in that it's a Chinese immigrant's story about moving to Kingston, Jamaica, during WWII and becoming one of the movers & shakers of Chinatown there.  I didn't even know there was a Chinatown in Jamaica!

6. Clare Dewitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Grun, forthcoming later in 2011.  This is the first mystery I've read in a while. I picked it up because it was set in New Orleans one year post-Katrina.

7. The Fire and the Rose by Abby and Domina.  This is a novel-length work of Harry Potter fanfiction that I read about once a year or so.  It's the story of what happens when Neville explodes a variant of polyjuice potion one day and Snape & Hermione got caught in the middle of it -- they exchange bodies for a full term.  The lemony bits come in at the end, and they're good, but the rest of the story is pretty much in character for both of them.

8. You Believers by Jane Bradley, forthcoming in May 2011.  I read this one as a favor to a buddy of mine at the publisher.  Good stuff.  Review to come.

9.  The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan. Review here.

10. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson, forthcoming in May 2011.  A sequel to the young adult novel Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes. Review here.

11. Red by Hillary Jordan.  Wow.  Just wow.  A friend of mine at her publisher sent me the manuscript and after I read it, it was all I could think about.  It's hard to imagine two books more different than Mudbound (her first book, winner of the Bellwether Prize) and Red, but they're equally successful in what they're trying to do. Not sure when the pub date is on this one.

12. The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson.  Review here.  Forthcoming in August 2011.

13. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. Review here.  Forthcoming in June 2011.

1 comment:

  1. Pao sounds really interesting. I read a book for my race and ethnic relations class a few years ago called Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting...you have to love the title. It was nonfiction about the connections between African and Southeast Asian culture. They suggested that dreadlocks are a Jamaican adaptation of the Saivite Indians (Indians were brought to Jamaica to potentially work on the plantations, I believe, but ended up as kind of ethnic middlmen), followers of Shiva who grow their hair long and let it become matted.


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