First Quarter Reading

This is not a most impressive list number-wise, but I read some really fantastic books these past 3 months so... I'm going to call it a win.

1. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown - I loved this so much, I had just finished it in November but I re-read in January before our Book Club meeting.  I think the story is so inspiring and well-written.

2. The Lake House by Kate Morton - This was a hide-in-the-bathroom-so-I-can-read-more-instead-of-making-dinner kind of book.  I flew through it and loved it.  My only complaint is how quickly and neatly everything tied up in the end.  As soon as I finished I went back about 30 pages to read it again slowly.  I'm a big fan of Kate Morton.

3. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi - This is a memoir of a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer during his last year of residency and it is incredible.  I finished the book with lots of tears, but it's so much more than a sad story- it was so beautifully written and so inspiring.  Seriously, go read this book.

4. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis - A friend mentioned that she really liked this book and with only that information I grabbed it for our Christmas trip to California.  I didn't finish until we got home in January (it's quite hefty) but I really loved it.  The story takes place in a future time when historians can go back in time for first-hand study.  A young historian is sent back to the Middle Ages and nothing really goes as planned- in the present day or the past.  I thought the writing and characters were fantastic.

5. The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty- Not my favorite of Liane Moriarty's, but still a really fun read.  The mystery of the Munro baby has been bringing visitors to Scribbly Gum Island for 75 years.  Sophie Honeywell unexpectedly inherits a house on the island and is flung into the mystery and the family that has been hiding the truth.

6. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - This was a book club read and it took me a quarter of the book to realize there was basically no plot.  When I got over trying to decipher the story line I was able to enjoy the beautiful writing.  Not my favorite, but definitely a good book.

7. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline - I really loved the idea of this book, I hadn't ever heard of the orphan trains and was very interested in the stories of the survivors.  That being said, it wasn't the most well-written; there were two narrators and I MUCH preferred one of them which was kind of frustrating as the book went on.  But, it was a good story about two women (one very old and one a teenager) who meet by chance and realize their difficult pasts have many similarities.

8. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert - I read a lot of great reviews for this so I had high hopes but I just thought it was so kooky.  I finished the book, so it wasn't terribly awful, just not my favorite at all and I didn't feel inspired like so many others did after reading.