Kate DiCamillo: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
This children's book is so much more than a child's story; from the moment when grandmother Pellegrina fixes her sharp black eyes at the rabbit and says, "I'm very disappointed in you, Edward", the story demands an examination of the reader's motives along with the scouring of Edward's selfish and vain behavior. I finished the book and sat back with a beautiful ache, knowing I had read something that was meant to be savoured, and would resonate far longer than perhaps I am comfortable with. Is that not the mark of a true story?
Charles Frazier: Thirteen Moons: A Novel
I had a really hard time getting into this one, but the writing was very well done. I did not find the characters sympathetic, but perhaps that's because I've read a lot of harsh stuff recently and was not moved by the plight of the idiots here. Kind of frustrating for me, I must say.
David Baldacci: The Camel Club
On a recommendation from a coworker, I'm trying out David Baldacci. This book falls squarely into the political thriller/mystery genre, but I really enjoyed the Bourne Identity, so I think I will be happy with this too. The writing is not bad, and the characters are already memorable - these are not just your token CIA agents and a few political advisors.
Jeannette Walls: The Glass Castle: A Memoir
I've only begun reading this, but it comes highly recommended. The story centers on the family of an alcoholic father and neglectful mother, as the author attempts to describe her childhood in all its glory and pain. I recognize some of the wild creativity and exploration.
Diane Ackerman: The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story
Riveting story about the Resistance in Poland, told through the life of Antonina, the wife of the zookeeper in Warsaw. Both the third-person discussions and the first-person narratives were informative and creatively done - I walked away realizing I had known very little about the Polish role in fighting Nazi Germany, and I now feel compelled to learn more. A very good read.
Sara Gruen: Water for Elephants: A Novel
Way too much fun, with a twist at the end that will throw you completely off guard. It was lovely, but too graphic for kids.