Here's my month-end summary of my reading activities and blog posts at Marie's Book Garden.
I started off the month with the Japanese novel Supermarket by Satoshi Azuchi (3 out of 5 stars)...it's described as a Japanese modern classic (published in Japan in the 1980s), but it was only recently translated into English.
Next I read Get Real: What Kind of World Are You Buying by Mara Rockliff (4 out of 5 stars)...it consists of tips for shopping with your conscience. The back of the book says "Can you really change the world with your wallet?"
I've just helped start a new book group, and our first book was Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (2 out of 5 stars). I liked "The Santaland Diaries," but was not too crazy about the rest of the stories. The rest of the book group agreed with my assessment. It left me wondering whether I'm a David Sedaris person. I will read one more book of his before giving up on him.
I grew up loving Marlo Thomas, so I decided to read her recent memoir, Growing Up Laughing (4 out of 5 stars). Thomas intersperses recollections of her growing up with interviews of famous comedians, in which she asked them how they grew up to be funny.
Then I read a more-upbeat (than David Sedaris) Christmas story, Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb (4 out of 5 stars). It's a good, old-fashioned, and light-hearted story about growing up in a small town in the 1960s.
The Personal History of Rachel DuPree by Ann Weisgarber (4 out of 5 stars) was the best novel of the month, about an African-American farmer's wife in the Badlands, South Dakota.
Cockeyed by Ryan Knighton (3 out of 5 stars) is about a young man who receives a devastating diagnosis at the age of 18: he is going blind.
I had to read Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky (3 out of 5 stars) because the title was calling to me! Marie is an unlikable woman with very few morals...who gets involved in an adventure that takes her to Paris with a two-year-old. It was compulsively readable.
Then I read Elizabeth Edwards' first memoir, Saving Graces (3 out of 5 stars). I would give it 5 stars for the reflections on grief and breast cancer, but the accounts of political names and events bored me and I found myself scanning over them.
I ended the month by beginning Girl by the Road at Night by David Rabe (1 out of 5 stars) but I gave up because it just didn't appeal to me.
Other posts included my list of best books of 2010 and a list of the books I gave my sister for Christmas (some of my favorites).
I just started a new book this morning--Rock Paper Tiger by Lisa Brackmann--and I'm hooked, so stay tuned.