The Amateur Marriage
by Anne Tyler
How I Heard About It: Um... someone probably recommended it online and it had enough good reviews that I opted to add it to my list.
My review: Eh, it was okay. Not horrible. Wasn't a total waste of time. Didn't need to read about another couple's squabbles -- I have squabbles of my own to deal with.
From goodreads.com: They seemed like the perfect couple - young, good looking, made for each other. The moment Pauline, a stranger to the Polish Eastern Avenue neighborhood of Baltimore (though she lived only twenty minutes away), walked into his mother's grocery store, Michael was smitten. And in the heat of World War II fervor, they are propelled into a hasty wedding. But they never should have married.
Pauline, impulsive, impractical, tumbles hit-or-miss through life; Michael, plodding, cautious, judgmental, proceeds deliberately. While other young marrieds, equally ignorant at the start, seemed to grow more seasoned, Pauline and Michael remain amateurs. In time their foolish quarrels take their toll. Even when they find themselves, almost thirty years later, loving, instant parents to a little grandson named Pagan, whom they rescue from Haight-Ashbury, they still cannot bridge their deep-rooted differences. Flighty Pauline clings to the notion that the rifts can always be patched. To the unyielding Michael, they become unbearable.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
by William Kamkwamba
How I Heard About It: My book club is reading it.
My Review: Great! Quick read. True story. Made me really appreciate the luxuries of food and electricity... and water spigot/hoses to automatically water my garden. I skimmed through the information on how to build the tower -- very technical stuff that I wasn't going to understand anyway.
From goodreads.com: William Kamkwamba, the youthful author of this book, was born in Malawi, an African nation best known for its harrowing poverty, its AIDS epidemic, and its long-term food crisis. In 2001, William was just 14 years old when the country was struck by the greatest famine within memory. With his family now too poor to pay his $80-a-year tuition, this eager learner was forced to leave school. Against those staggering odds, he continued to read, learn, and experiment. Inspired by a few old school textbooks, he devised a primitive working windmill, cobbled together from bicycle parts, blue-gum trees, and other makeshift scraps. With his homemade invention, he gave his family and himself electricity and a new start. Inspiring and refreshing as the wind.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
by Joann Fluke
How I Heard About It: My coworker said that a lady in the bank recommended it.
My review: Seriously? For gosh sakes? This thing was tough to get through. Honestly, I didn't even finish it. Supposedly these "food" mysteries are an up-and-coming genre and lots of people like these books. I wanted to like it. Heck, I wanted to love it. Alas, this was not for me. It was just boring.
From goodreads.com: No one cooks up a delectable, suspense-filled mystery quite like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke s dessert-baking, red-haired heroine whose gingersnaps are as tart as her comebacks, and whose penchant for solving crimes one delicious clue at a time has made her a bestselling favorite. And it all began on these pages, with a bakery, a murder, and some suddenly scandalous chocolate-chip crunchies. Featuring a bonus short story and brand new, mouthwatering recipes, this limited edition of the very first Hannah Swensen mystery is sure to have readers coming back for seconds.
Drum Roll Please... I saved the best for last...
Two Kisses for Maddy
by Matt Logelin
How I Heard About It: I've been reading Matt's blog for 3 years!
My review: After following his blog for three years (has it really been that long), I was really anticipating this book release. Many people have experienced the loss of a spouse while remaining strong for the children. Not many of us read about the ups and downs of that journey on a daily basis. The book was fabulous... such a testament to his wife, Liz, and their daughter. Lovely -- just perfectly lovely!
From goodreads.com: Matt and Liz Logelin were high school sweethearts. The pair settled together in Los Angeles and they had it all: the perfect marriage, a beautiful new home, and a baby girl on the way. But just twenty-seven hours after they welcomed Madeline into the world, Liz suffered a pulmonary embolism and instantly died, without ever holding the daughter whose arrival she had so eagerly awaited.
Faced with devastating grief and the responsibilities of a new and single father, Matt coped by returning to the small blog he had created to keep friends and family updated on Liz's pregnancy, which today has become a place for him to share with over a million curious readers the day to day of two lives bound by loss and love. But there is more to his story than just raising a daughter alone: Matt Logelin is an extraordinary human being. Having been sustained through tragedy by the kindness and generosity of strangers, he is now dedicated to helping others in difficult situations by reaching out and inspiring those facing loss or adversity.
A heartwarming and heartbreaking story punctuated by beautifully recollected-- and often humorous-- memories and anecdotes, TWO KISSES FOR MADDY unquestionably has something to offer any reader who has experienced grief, and has sought the courage to live again.
Have you read any "culinary mysteries"
(i.e. Chocolate Chip Murder Mystery)?