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A compilation of short stories, all in standard Berg format.  Most of them were fine, but not outstanding.  One story was fantastic, and I’d definitely read it again: “How to Make an Apple Pie.”  If you’re an Elizabeth Berg fan, it’s worth checking this book out from the library just to read that one story.  If you’re not a fan, then check it out anyways for an example of her best and funniest writing.

I’ve come to the point in my blogging life when I just simply have to make a list of books.  I’ve read some great ones lately, but I don’t have the time to write posts about them all.  So in no particular order, here’s what I’ve been reading the last few weeks:

Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop:  A great juvenile historical fiction about the anti-child labor movement in the U.S.

The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center: The perfect chick lit for a new mom.  Center writes with humor and honesty about being a new mom, yet somehow manages to throw in some romance at the same time.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See:  Explores women’s friendship, secret writing and foot binding in China.  Even though the book is about so much more than foot binding, what will stick with me are the graphic descriptions of the foot binding process.  I had to skip several pages because I was feeling nauseous just reading about it.

Rutka’s Notebook: A Voice From the Holocaust: A newly discovered journal, kept by a 14 year old Jewish girl, living in Poland.

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller: Made me want to go back to teaching.  Can’t wait for my own kids to read!  Pre-teachers and current teachers should read this book to regain perspective on what our job as teachers is all about.

Off Season by Anne Rivers Siddons  A love story.  Mostly good, but the ending was just strange.  I wouldn’t bother with it.

The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect us From Violence by Gavin DeBecker:  Absolutely fascinating.  A must-read especially for women.  De Becker is a well known security professional, and writes knowledgeably about how to protect yourself by listening to your intuition.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon:  Set in Spain.  Young Daniel unravels the mystery of a stranger who is roaming through Europe, burning every book he can find by Daniel’s favorite author.

Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos:  A companion book to Belong to Me.

Where the River Ends by Charles Martin:  Look out Nicholas Sparks.  Martin’s southern romance is much sweeter and deeper than anything Sparks has written recently.  Doss and Abbie battle cancer together through a river journey.

So often, chick lit is centered either on a single girl trying to find love, or on a married woman trying to find a new love.  It was refreshing to read a great chick lit story in which a married main character “finds herself,” without abandoning her family.  Moms of young children looking for a great summer read with an uplifting message will enjoy this book.

Chick Lit

01st April 2009

Courtesy of a friend, I was gifted several chick lit novels which of course I read ASAP.  While not life-changing, they were certainly enjoyable.  My favorite was The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger.  I’ve heard of it, but never read the book or seen the movie.  If you enjoy the “rich evil boss bested by overworked, underpaid peon” type of story, you’ll love this one.  Highly recommended, if a bit stressful to read.

Next up was Bookends by Jane Green.  This was a fun friendship book, set in Great Britain.  A group of college friends enter the real world, with all of its ups and downs.

And then we have Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner.  This was a humorous and tender look at four women as they experience the first few months of motherhood.  It brought back some good and some not-so-good memories for me.

And finally, courtesy of my local library, Past Secrets by Cathy Kelly.  The women of   Summer Street deal with various secrets.  Faye must repair her relationship with her daughter Amber, Maggie returns home to nurse a broken heart and her sick mother, and Christie confronts a secret that could destroy her marriage.  I think I’ve had my fill of chick lit for awhile!  Time to read something that doesn’t turn my brain to mush…