Well, I managed to squeak in some reading this year (which I admit, I am having trouble believing is ending) and there are a few good books that stick in my mind…
- Little Bee by Chris Cleave
This book completely swept me away from the very first page. What a story! Told from the perspective of a Nigerian orphan we first meet while she is detained in a British immigration facility, this novel will have you laughing, crying and waiting on the edge of your seat for the details of the life-changing event of Little Bee.
- Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Although a longer read than I normally pick up, this book captured and kept my interest with its “insider” look into the secretive and elite world of Ivy League college admissions. Woven together with the story of a troubled boy’s quest to find a place to fit in, the private and professional life of Princeton admissions officer Portia Nathan reveals what it takes to make the decisions that affect the lives of many college hopefuls.
- Heroic Measures by Jill Climent
This was a quirky little book that I ended up liking a lot! It follows the pursuits of Alex and Ruth, an elderly couple in Manhattan, who are hoping to move out of their five-flight walkup into a highly desirable (albeit highly expensive) “elevator” building in the city. Mingled with the storyline of their apartment hunting/open houses is the subject of their precious little dachshund Dorothy who suddenly loses the ability to walk, the fact that a possible terrorist is loose in the city, and the couple’s mixed feelings about their impending move. All of these things make for a book that you (for some unexplained reason) can’t put down!
- Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas
A book that will definitely give you a chance to walk a mile in another person’s shoes and see the power of animal companions. In this moving memoir the author describes the tragic accident that left her husband with TBI (traumatic brain injury) and changed the course of their lives together forever. Though the material seems like it would be too overwhelmingly sad, Thomas gives glimpses into who her husband was and now is through little stories and humorous anecdotes that will touch your heart and show you the power of true love.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
One of the best books I read in 2009 and boy did I finish it in no time! It was fascinating, with its vivid descriptions of pre civil-rights movement society and intimate stories of how “the help” was really being treated in white households in the south. The writing was fantastic, the characters were perfectly created and the story was one I won’t forget.
- Swimming by Nicola Keegan
Yet another book that was beautifully written and tells an interesting story. Philomena (Pip) Ash turns out to be a superstar swimmer and future Olympian who is discovered at the tender age of just 9 months when her parents take her to a mom-and-me swim class and watch her naturally take to the water. Things are not always rosy in life for Pip, however, despite her Olympic gold medals, and she must learn who she is and how to survive outside the pool as well.