Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall Reads

Hello, friends! It's been a while since I've posted... apparently I've spent too much time cozied up under a blanket with a good book, and not enough time blogging. But if you've read any of these books, you might understand why. I stumbled into a collection of winners over the last few weeks and really enjoyed them all.
{All images from goodreads

Rise and Shine, by Anna Quindlen, is the story of two sisters living very different lives in New York City. The elder sister is the wealthy and glamorous host of a morning news show. The younger is a hard-working social worker in a poverty-ridden neighborhood. They have a long-standing habit of falling into the typical older-sibling-caretaker and younger-sister-dependant dynamic. The sisters' close relationship is tested, and ultimately strengthened, however when their comfortable roles are shattered due to a life changing event. New York City, and Manhattan in particular, was almost a character in itself in this book. For someone who has yet to visit the Big Apple, it was fun to step into that world in the pages of this book. 

Anita Shreve's The Weight of Water was a dark, intense read. It simultaneously follows the stories of two characters- Jean a modern-day photojournalist, and Maren, a 19th century Norwegian immigrant. In the turbulent waters off the coast of a New England island, Jean is documenting the scene of a grizzly double murder that happened long ago. During her research, she discovers a cache of papers written by Maren, the sole-survivor of the murders. Shreve shifts from one woman's story to the other, which can feel abrupt, but it doesn't detract from the emotional journey to the edge that both women take. This was a suspenseful story, which explored the intertwined themes of love, loneliness, jealousy, and passion. I'm looking forward to watching the movie based on this book. It will be interesting to see how they adapt the complex story-lines to film.

Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel to Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, which I really liked. But I loved Bring Up the Bodies. Thomas Cromwell is a historical figure I knew little about prior to reading these books; due to his obscure birth he has remained a bit of an enigma to historians. Mantel brings him to life in with a compelling and complex portrayal. Despite the fact that I know how his story ends {he shares the fate of so many others at Henry VIII's court}, I cannot wait to read the third installment in this trilogy.

Finally, I had to include one book from my favorite genre, the cozy mystery. Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear, follows a young woman of the same name in post WWI London. Maisie is a well-educated investigator and psychologist, but she started out as a servant. Think Downton Abbey meets Sherlcock Holmes. Maisie is clever, resourceful, and an extremely likable character. I enjoyed reading this, the first of her adventures, and look forward to reading more. 

I'm off to the library today to pick up a few more books. Hopefully I won't be so absorbed in them that I neglect all else! I'm not making any promises, though. 
Happy Reading!


  1. Thanks for recommendations! I currently have 4 books waiting to be read and one 3/4 of the way done. I need to make more time for reading.

  2. The maisie dobbs book sounds good I will have to check it out


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