Tuesday, March 30, 2021

March 2021 Book List

 All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

This beautiful book is a journey of the heart. I couldn't stop listening to it, and I needed to know how each of the characters would survive the journey. It's heartbreaking and devastating and inspiring all at the same time. I was completely wrapped up in these characters and wanted to stay with them until the end, in spite of the hardships. I would highly recommend this book, but warn you that it is emotional and involves multiple forms of neglect and abuse. But that's not what the story is about, it's about survival and triumph of the spirit in spite of the damage. It's complex and totally worth losing yourself in the story. 

House on the Cerulean Sea

I listened to this book as well (trying to use up some Audible credits!) and was captivated at the first few words. I love young adult fiction and this is magical, fantasy and mystery all wrapped up in some crazy creatures and very good hearted, well intentioned main character that seems to have developed a keen sense of things in spite of his mundane life. Please read this!

Out of the Easy

Because this is by one of my new found favorite authors I immediately bought it when I saw it. I was not disappointed. I was impressed that as someone who grew up in and near New Orleans it felt authentic. The characters and story also seemed very true to the location, though it was set in the 1950's and I wasn't born until the 1960's. I completely enjoyed the whole 'vibe' of the book and each one of the supporting characters really added to the story in their own ways. The main character is the child of a prostitute and spends most of her childhood in a brothel, but becomes quite the survivor and manages to move out at the age of 12. She finds comfort in a book store, whose owner takes her in and gives her a place to stay. Her connection to the brothel remains a constant and story focuses on how she is determined to define her own life, whatever that might be. There are a lot of obstacles in her way, but the adventure is one that kept me wanting more. I highly recommend this book.

Infinite Country

This was my Book of the Month club pick because it was also the Reese's book club pick and had lots of great publicity. It's the story of immigration, separation, family and where is 'home'? It is beautifully told and heartbreakingly honest. It also includes the wonderful stories and culture of  Columbia as well as the many obstacles of the immigration system. The characters are very easy to relate to as they are flawed yet optimistic and realistic and resigned about so much of what they experience. It's beautifully written and I wanted to keep reading. My only complaint is that it could have easily been 400 pages instead of 200. I wanted to spend more time with this family. I do highly recommend it. 

From Scratch

This is the beautifully told story of unexpected love and delicious food and complicated family and all things Italy. It transports one to the countryside and leaves you hungry for honest Italian food. There is loss and healing and mostly love throughout the story. I listened to this on audible and would highly recommend listening to it if you enjoy listening to all of the Italian phrases and translations. It is read by the author and to be honest, I don't know how she spoke the words without sobbing in parts. I really enjoyed it very much. I would highly recommend it.

Book of Lost Friends

Oh gosh this is everything I love about historical fiction! There is so much to learn about what happened to the people in the south at the end of the civil war and this story looks into one family living in Louisiana, who then flees to Texas and all of the heartache they encounter on the way. There is also a parallel present day story of a teacher who is completely unprepared for what she finds in her classroom but manages to rise to the challenge (if only partially).Because I was born and raised in Louisiana, I especially enjoyed the phrases and food and cultural references local only to that part of the country.

I was hooked from the very beginning and didn't want to put it down. Please read this book!



  1. I just started the Book of Lost Friends!

  2. I love looking at other people's book lists ... yours has given me some great reads on more than one occasion! This time I ran over to the digital library and put a hold on The Book of Lost Friends! I'm #26 on 2 copies. I did the same for The Midnight Library in January ... I've just this week been able to download it! Keep 'em coming! :)

  3. I love your book reviews! THIS time I haven't read a single one. I, too, love YA and am looking forward to reading each one! THANKS!!!


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