Thursday, March 8, 2007

Marie's Top Reads of 2006

Fiction
1. Plum Wine, A. Davis-Gardner. American teaching in Tokyo inherits a tansu chest full of wine and diary entries from a friend.
2. Sex Wars, M. Piercy. Wonderful novel about the suffragettes.
3. We Are All Welcome Here, E. Berg. A girl with a quadraplegic mom and a black caretaker in 60s-era Mississippi.
4. The Flamenco Academy, S. Bird. Explores the world of New Mexico flamenco and gypsy culture.
5. The Time Traveler's Wife, A. Niffenegger. Great first novel.
6. One-Hit Wonder, L. Jewell. A one-time pop star suddenly dies—and her estranged sister tries to solve the mystery.
7. The Memory Keeper's Daughter, K. Edwards. A man makes a split-second decision that affects his whole family for a lifetime.
8. Alamo House, S. Bird. Eccentric female grad students live across from a wild frat house and wage war on them.
9. The Arms of God, L. Hinton. A woman who abandoned her child reenters the child's life years later.
10. A Land of Sheltered Promise, J. Kirkpatrick. Three novellas about the Big Muddy Ranch in eastern Oregon.
11. The Mommy Club, S. Bird. A quirky young woman becomes a surrogate for her employer...colorful characters and story.
12. Anybody Out There?, M. Keyes. Bittersweet story about an Irish woman with a wacky family who loses her husband.
13. The Tall Pine Polka, L. Landvik. Fun read about a small Minnesota town and its quirky, colorful characters.
14. Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me, K. Karbo. Fun read about motherhood and the class system.
15. Plantation: A Lowcountry Tale, D.B. Frank. Touching story about S. Carolina, family relationships, and affection for the land.
16. A Long Fatal Love Chase, LM Alcott. A spunky heroine marries an abusive, sadistic man, and she runs away from him.
17. Shalimar the Clown, S. Rushdie. Sprawling, sad story of the making of a terrorist in Rushdie's classic poetic, literary style.
18. A Time to Kill , J. Grisham. Grisham’s first novel--good vacation read!
19. Baby Proof , E. Giffin. A couple agrees not to have any children when they marry, but then the man has second thoughts.
20. Born Again, K. Kerney. A young girl in a fundamentalist family tries to reconcile her Christian faith with Darwin.

Nonfiction
1. Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations, One School at a Time, G. Mortenson. The title says it all. Read it!
2. The Accidental Office Lady, L. Kriska. Excellent account of author’s time working for Honda in the 80s.
3. Dry, A. Burroughs. Searing account of alcoholism.
4. Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, S.J. Gilman. Girl grows up with hippie parents and feminist ideals.
5. It's a Boy: Women Writers on Raising Sons, A. Buchanan. Very interesting essays.
6. FBI Girl: How I Learned to Crack My Father’s Code, M. Conlon-McIvor. Quirky, interesting memoir.
7. Are Men Necessary?: When Sexes Collide, M. Dowd. Funny, insightful essays on gender-related topics.
8. Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America, M. Spurlock. We are what we eat!
9. Looking for Chengdu: A Woman's Adventures in China, H. Gates. Anthropologist's travels in China.
10. 7 Money Mantras for a Richer Life: How to Live Well with the Money You Have, M. Singletary. No nonsense!
11. The Tulip and the Pope: A Nun’s Story, D. Larsen. A young nun’s decision to leave the convent.
12. Into the Wild by J. Krakauer. Raises interesting questions about what draws people into taking risks.
13. With Love from Karen, M. Killilea. A large family embraces their daughter with cerebral palsy in the 50s and 60s.
14. Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned , A. Alda. Interesting but wanted more depth.

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