It has been awhile since I shared a list of books that I enjoyed so here goes...
by Rosie Thomas
I have been in a circus-themed kick for awhile so this was a treat...though not a circus but rather a theatre in Victorian London, it hit the spot. In some ways it reminded me of Water for Elephants or The Night Circus (both which I enjoyed tremendously). It was a Christmas present this year and I loved it, can't wait to get the next book, Daughter of the House.
by Emily St. John Mandel
This novel, set in a dystopian world after a pandemic changes everything, but different from many stories of its kind due to the positive outlook of a number of survivors. I enjoyed reading about characters who, though they were changed drastically by events in their time, overcame those challenges and brought beauty to the world through Shakespearean theatre. It interests me to see how the positive side of human nature can prevail.
by Emma Donoghue
I had enjoyed reading ROOM so much that I decided to read this novel by Emma Donoghue as well. It's quite a different novel and, unfortunately, I was a little confused at times as events kind of moved slowly but I liked this story because it was based on true historical facts. It is set in San Fransisco in the late 1800's during a heatwave and smallpox epidemic and revolves around burlesque dancer Blanch Beunon and her friend Jenny Bonnet's murder. I highly recommend reading the epilogue at the end of the story.
Church of Marvels
by Leslie Parry
Another story set in the late 1800's but this time at a Coney Island sideshow. This was a terrific read, complete with a young woman waking in a lunatic asylum, a deadly fire and a baby found at the bottom an outhouse. I loved how each of the characters eventually connected to bring the mystery to a close.
Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo
This is actually a young adult novel, but with a title featuring crows I couldn't resist. Another dystopian novel, set in a place called Ketterdam (reminiscent of The Netherlands), featuring an impossible heist and an unlikely crew of outcasts. Looking forward to book two in this series.
The Memory of Love
by Linda Olsson
I wanted to read this book because I had enjoyed her novel titled Astrid and Veronika many years ago (of course I picked that one up because of the title). Linda Olsson is a beautiful writer and her descriptions and point of view are such a delight to read. In this story, Marion Flint, who is living a very secluded life has come upon a young boy who she hopes to save. Because of their involvement, she is forced to reflect on her life and to recognize that she must forgive herself for the past. Beautifully written.
Come Thou Tortoise
by Jessica Grant
This book was recommended to me several years ago and I finally read it with relish. It was funny and sad and everything all together, which for me is a perfect read. The story is told through the narrators Audrey (Oddly) Flowers and her opinionated tortoise Winnifred. I don't want to say too much about the story, but read it, it's really good.
by Donna Tartt
I have mixed feelings about this one...great story, though long, but so very depressing. I struggled with not only the challenges that thirteen year old Theo experiences but also how he responds to them. He experiences one tragic loss after another in his life but also some amazing people and opportunities. I guess he disappointed me in a way though I am glad I haven't lived his life.
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
Beautiful writing, poetic and such an interesting point of view. The novel takes place in France during the second World War and is told from the perspective of a young French girl and a young German boy. I loved how the author shares their separate stories and then they intertwine to share the good in two people on two different sides of an awful war. Definitely a different perspective on both sides.
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
I was in the mood for a psychological thriller last August and found this book strangely riveting. The story was told from the perspective of an alcoholic narrator who is really struggling with her day-to-day life, as you can imagine. She begins to daydream about a life that she views from the window of her commuter train, one that definitely isn't hers. This follows a long line of twists and turns that had me addicted from beginning to end. I hate to say it because of the subject matter but I thought it was a fun read.
The Book of Speculation
by Erika Swyler
The cover of this novel attracted me and when I read that it was similar in feeling to The Shipping News (one of my favorite novels) I had to read it. Plus it features a librarian names Simon...working in a library myself, I definitely couldn't resist. Simon receives an antique book written by the owner of a travelling carnival in the 1700's and through it begins to research the tragic history of the women known as mermaids in his family. I loved it!