1. The Secret Lives of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd. Best of the year!
2. Red Water and The Chinchilla Farm, Judith Freeman. Especially liked the first one…historical fiction.
3. Blacklist, Sara Paretsky. One of my fave mystery writers.
4. The Samurai’s Daughter, Sujata Massey. My other fave.
5. Pastries: A Novel of Desserts and Discoveries, and Darjeeling: A Novel, Bharti Kirchner. Exquisite Indian expat novels.
6. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold. Disturbing, good read.
7. Compromising Positions; Close Relations; Magic Hour; Shining Through; Almost Paradise; After All These Years; Brave Dames and Wimpettes, Susan Isaacs. (I’ve just discovered her!)
8. Sophie and the Rising Sun, Augusta Trobaugh. Southern woman finds love with Japanese man during WWII.
9. Beach Music, Pat Conroy. Surprisingly good family saga.
10. When Elephants Dance, Tess Uriza Holthe. Gripping story of wartime in the Philippines.
11. Cause Celeb, Helen Fielding. Better than Bridget Jones.
12. Agnes Browne, Brendan O’Carroll. Whole series is great!
13. Someone Like You, Cathy Kelly. Three Irish friends.
14. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, JK Rowling.
15. Brick Lane, Monica Ali. Expat Bangladeshi life in UK.
16. I Don’t Know How She Does It, Alison Pearson. Career mom wants it all--good read but didn’t like the ultimate message.
17. Dating Big Bird, Laura Zigman. Young career woman wants a baby.
18. Hideous Kinky, Esther Freud. Hippie life in Morocco.
19. A Married Man, Catherine Alliott. Fun read.
20. American Pie, Michael Lee West. Southern zaniness.
21. White Teeth, Zadie Smith. Race, sex, class in the UK.
22. Range of Motion, Elizabeth Berg. Sad, uplifting story.
23. The Nanny Diaries, Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus. Do people really live like this?
24. Flight of the Maidens, Jane Gardam. WWII England girl friendships.
25. The Hope Chest, Rukshana Anmad. Sad and moving.
1. Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer. Fascinating look at Mormon history and fundamentalism.
2. The Secrets of Mariko, Elisabeth Bumiller. Great book about the life of ordinary Japanese woman.
3. Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich. Great investigation into living with a low-wage job.
4. Indira: A Biography, Catherine Frank. Intriguing life.
5. My Forbidden Face, Latifa. Life under the Taliban.
6. Lucky Man, Michael J. Fox. Inspiring.
7. After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back, Nancy Venable Raines. Sad but inspiring.
8. A Slant of Sun, Beth Kephart. About an Autistic child.