Before I get to what I read last month, I have to mention a gift I received for Christmas from my mother. A set of calendar bookmarks.
At first I thought I was suppose to cross-stitch the detail. Then my mom asked if I liked them and I realized she had done the cross-stitch for me, I was very touched. As someone who makes gifts for so many, I love it when someone takes the time to make something for me. My mother saved me a ton of time and I got to use them right away.
Here is January's bookmark.
I circled the days I finished a book...
... and then wrote the titles on the back of the book mark. It will be neat to look back at the end of the year. Thanks mom.
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
This is the first Anne Tyler novel that I've read. I've heard of her but never got around to reading anything by her and I don't know if I will again. The writing was really good but I kept waiting for something really dramatic to happen and then the book was over. It wasn't boring, I just felt more could have happened. The novel looks at 3 generations of a family. It jumps back and forth so as you read about the past, you understand parts you've already read. This would probably make a great vacation read but I was looking for something a little more...dramatic.
Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
Another attempt at reading teen fiction (why do I do this to myself?). The first half was really good and I was going to recommend it to my daughter to read but then it got weird. It had great twists but it's definitely not for young teens. Older teens, maybe. I told my daughter the plot and she was glad she didn't read it. I don't want to give too much away but... the novel begins a year or so after 2 best friends (June and Delia) stop talking to each other after something happens with them and June's boyfriend. When June returns to school after Christmas vacation, she is surprised to hear that Delia has died and that it looks like a suicide. June doesn't quite believe it and starts investigating. There are multiple people that could have killed Delia and make it look like a suicide. Through flashbacks you learn more about June and Delia's friendship and who might have wanted Delia dead. Then SPOILER ALERT - it turns out Delia isn't dead but faked her own death with the help of 3 friends June has never met before. And then the real craziness begins. I won't tell you anymore than that. Definitely interesting. Not sure if it's for teens. Read if you like books with unexpected twists.
Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis
I was intrigued by this book when I saw it winning lots of awards last year. When it appeared on the new books page on our public library website, I requested it not knowing anything about it. The novel is about 15 dogs being given human intelligence and language by the Gods, Apollo and Hermes, and what happens to them after. The two gods had made a bet. One believes that none of the dogs will die happy. The other, thinks intelligence will lead to happiness. The fate of the 15 dogs is interesting, some embracing the change, while others fight it. I won't spoil the novel but I do recommend it. I didn't think I was going to like it but I did and still think about it and what it says about humans and how we treat those we consider different from ourselves.
Queen Victoria's Mysterious Daughter: A Biography of Princess Louise by Lucinda Hawksley
The title of this book is why I requested it from the library. I enjoy reading books about royalty, although I tend to read books about royals from around the time of Henry VIII. I haven't read much about Queen Victoria and thought learning about one of her children was a good start. Louise's husband was an early Governor General of Canada and Louise helped to name both the city of Regina and the province Alberta. There is also a Lake Louise in Alberta named after her. I'm not sure how accurate the book is. A lot of the files on Princess Louise are locked in the Royal Archives and information about a lot of the people close to her have also become classified. Not sure if this means that the Royal family is actually hiding the truth about Princess Louise's life or if the author was looking for Louise's life to be something more than it was. If you like reading about royalty, read it and make your own conclusions.
And the graphic novels I read:
Fables: The Great Fables Crossover
Jack of Fables; The New Adventures of Jack and Jack
Fables - Witches
Jack of Fables: The Fulminate Blade
I wonder what I'll read this month.