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November Booklist

1. The Martian, Andy Weir

I sped through this one in two days - easily the fastest I've read a fiction book in more than a year. Engaging, suspenseful, and pretty close to plausible.

2. An Everlasting Meal, Tamar Adler

A call to change how you think about food - cloaked in some of the most beautiful prose I've encountered in food writing.

3. Pioneer Girl, Laura Ingalls Wilders

I grew up on a steady diet of Little House book, so I eagerly devoured each footnote and marginalia. This is so full of detail - I loved that it includes not just pictures of the Ingalls family, but also places they lived and people connected to their lives. As I don't think any of us are surprised to find out, the real Ingalls family lived a harder life than their fictional counterparts, but this is not the sad or disillusioning book some reviews led me to believe it might be.

4. Promised Land, Connie Willis & Cynthia Felice

Predictable? Yes - but with such well-developed characters and complete world-building, you won't care. A lovely little sci-fi adventure/romance.

5. Bellman & Black, Diane Setterfield

Beautifully written, evocative, mysterious, atmospheric - usually I'm not a fan of things left unresolved or not completely explained, but any irritation I feel is completely overwhelmed by how utterly lovely this book is.
Yes, The Thirteenth Tale is probably the stronger book (and you should certainly read it.) But it's not fair to compare the two - they're very different books.
6. Dead Wake, Erik Larson

This is Erik Larson's power: unless you paid no attention at all in school, you know how this story ends. The ship sinks, and over 1,000 people die. But reading this history (written with such narrative urgency), with all the obvious signs of impending disaster, it's impossible not to hope that maybe, just maybe it will turn out differently this time and everyone will be saved.
Also, I have concluded that submarines are a terrible, terrible idea. Let's put a bunch of men in a metal tube under the ocean with a bunch of explosives and only rudimentary navigational equipment, where any mistake can easily lead to almost certain death WHAT COULD POSSIBLE GO WRONG.
7. The Habit, Elizabeth Kuhns

Can be a bit dry at times, but you won't find a more thorough history of the garments of women religious anywhere. I had never realized the sheer variety of nun's habits before.

8. Going Clear, Lawrence Wright

What I gained from this book:

Scientology is creepy.
L. Ron Hubbard was super creepy.
Tom Cruise: also pretty creepy.

9. Pandora's Lunchbox, Melanie Warner

Just the reminder I needed to eat more real foods and fewer processed food-like substances. It wasn't an alarmest book, and didn't call for readers to never eat processed foods ever, but you have to admit - even a lot of what we think of as healthy foods are a pretty far cry from any real forms of food.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2015 10:10 pm (UTC)
I read the first chapter of An Everlasting Meal a year or two ago and thought it was beautiful! I'm not sure it's quite as practical as it believes itself to be, but that's forgivable since it's so lovely.
Dec. 21st, 2015 11:40 pm (UTC)
That's a really good way to describe it. :)
Dec. 8th, 2015 12:20 am (UTC)
I want to read Pioneer Girl so badly! I knew I'd be at the end fo an insanely long wait-list if I put it on hold at the library right away, and I wasn't sure I'd be free to read it whenever it finally came in, so I decided to wait a bit. Sooo going to read it soon! :)
really glad to hear your review, too! As you mentioned, some of the reviews had me afraid that it would be shattering and I wouldn't be able to read the Little House books again... but since I forever believ ein historical accuracy, lol, I *knew* I still had to read it. ;)
Dec. 8th, 2015 05:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm glad Pioneer Girl is good! That's what we're getting my aunt for Christmas!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )