*Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett. (Actually read this at the end of 2015 but forgot to record it.) Slow and beautiful, hauntingly sad.
*Black Chalk, by Christopher J. Yates. Can’t remember it—Oh, wait! Yes, I can! A dark thriller that I thought so-so.
*The Art of Memoir, by Mary Karr. Some good (and comforting) writing nuggets (like, it took her months to write the first chapter of her memoir and find her voice), but I still prefer Bird by Bird.
*Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs, by Sally Mann. I’m fascinated by her perspective on life, and her work: raw and evocative.
*Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff. I don't remember it, but my notes say: Not credible but interesting.
*All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. Good, but I wasn’t head over heels like everyone else.
*The Birchbark House, by Louise Erdich. Young adult (for book club). An okay, easy read.
*When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi. I appreciated the healthy perspective towards death, but I enjoyed his wife’s writing better than his.
*Tips: Ideas for Actors and Tips II: More Ideas for Actors, by Jon Jory. Extremely helpful. I only wished that I could've read this books before Outside Mullingar, not after.
*A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back, by Keven Hazzard. A fast, entertaining read. Informative, too, for a mother of an EMT.
*Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee. I read this play in two sittings. It left me gasping for air.
*Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson. (For book club.) Absolutely abhorred it, which is funny because so many respected friends loved it.
*On Acting: A Handbook for Today’s Unique American Actor, by Steven Breese. Excellent.
*A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams. My first time reading the play; I enjoyed it.
*Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, by Carlo Rovelli. I didn’t understand most of it...but I read it!
*Small Blessings, by Martha Woodroof. (Name drop: the author is in one of my writing groups!) Likeable characters and enjoyable read. The book was set in a town not far from here, and I got a kick out of reading about familiar places within a novel.
*Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Challenging and paradigm shifting, I wish I could’ve read this one with my book club because it requires processing. I chewed over the ideas for months.
*The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers, by Betsy Lerner. Informative.
*Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor. Required reading for my kids, so I read it, too. So, so good.
*The Silver Star, by Jeannette Walls. Can't remember it.
*Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren. Excellent (though I skimmed some of the science parts). Gained new insight into bi-polar disease. Also, it made me want to plant an oak tree.
*A Story Lately Told, by Anjelica Huston. Dull and souless, but I was intrigued to learn Angelica is one of the actors in Transparent (which I loved).
*Hungry Heart, by Jennifer Weiner. The beginning was interesting, but after a bit it felt long-winded and whiny. By the end I was skimming whole pages.
*The Babylon Line, by Richard Greenberg. A play. Okay, but just that.
*Accelerando, by Lisa Loomer. A play. Complicated and slightly bizarre.
*Jesus Land: A Memoir, by Julia Scheeres. Powerful, dark, incredible. I felt like I was reading a nightmare; had to hurry through so I could end it and get on with my life. Highly recommend (but only if you’re emotionally stable, and even then, proceed with caution).
Up next: In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, by Neil White and then I'm open to (desperate for) recommendations. Fire away!
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PS. 2015 book list and 2014 book list.
PPS. Books I've read to the kids for our bedtime read-alouds include Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O'Brien, A Little Princess and The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, More Stories from Grandma’s Attic, by Arleta Richardson, and we're right now finishing up A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. Have you discovered any new read-alouds this year (for ages 10-15)?
This same time, years previous: toasty oatmeal muffins.