Saturday, December 3, 2011

What I read in November

Read my full reviews at Marie's Book Garden, or click the title to see the review.

Drama: An Actor's Education,
by John Lithgow

Best nonfiction of the month. Loved it. If you have a yen for theater, acting, or just John Lithgow, read it. He's a Harvard grad, and had me in tears during the prologue.

Hardball, by Sara Paretsky

Best fiction of the month. Paretsky was the first mystery writer I'd ever read, and she's still one of my two favorites (I also love the Rei Shimura series by Sujata Massey, since most of it takes place in Japan). I hadn't read a Sara Paretsky mystery for some time, and I enjoyed this one very much. In this one she wades into the race riots in Chicago in the 1970s and grapples with issues of class and race. And her political stripes are showing, but they're the same as mine so I don't mind.

The Ruins of Gorlan, by John Flanagan (first in the Ranger's Apprentice series)

Not my typical pick, but it was a book group read. I'm not a big fantasy lover (with a few exceptions like Harry Potter); however, I found this to be better written than the Percy Jackson series. It's kind of like a more readable Lord of the Rings (yes, I know I'm probably offending loads of Tolkien nuts).

Jesus Boy, by Preston L. Allen

Just not my cup of tea. Gave up halfway through.

Up the Capitol Steps: A Woman's Guide to the Governorship, by Barbara Roberts

I've always admired Barbara Roberts, and I do now even more after reading her memoir. Not only did she accomplish amazing things in her pathway to becoming Oregon's first woman governor, but she also did it all while fighting for her autistic son, being a single mom, caring for her sick husband, and then grieving the loss of her loved ones...without it affecting her cheerful public face. An excellent overview of the life of a seriously ethical, principled, and hard-working politician.

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