One Person Book Club

I've always loved to read. We have tons of books at home, as I buy them instead of borrowing from the library. A couple of years ago I gave in to the electronic age. After I got my Kindle I read 42 books in less than 3 months... My husband is not sure which addiction concerns him the most: quilting or reading! Here are some of the books I've enjoyed and why - let me know if you've read any of them!

The Husband's Secret
Liane Moriarty
 - This is the first of Moriarty's book for me. Although I guessed his secret early on, the story kept me hooked because I wanted to learn what would happen to the characters once his secret was revealed. I was not disappointed, and I bet you won't be either.

Tell the Wolves I am Coming
Carol Rifka Brunt
- Very interesting story about how a teenager copes with the death of her Uncle, someone she had been close to for many years. This girl discovers much she did not know about her beloved uncle through a process punctuated by the loneliness she feels after her loss. Beautifully told. No, I did not need a tissue box next to me while I read it; however, I could not put it down until the end.

The Buddha in the Attic
Julie Otsuka
- The writing is so creative, elegant, and touching -  yet intense. Otsuka tells the story in the first person plural, quite a departure from what we are used to, making a stunning impact on the reader. As I read this small book, I was totally absorbed on the experiences of the Japanese mail order brides who arrived in San Francisco full of dreams, early in the 1900s, only to find out that their lives would be very different from what they had dreamed. I was not ready for the book to end when it did. 

 The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Rachel Joyce
- I started reading this book a few pages at a time at night, but one night I just could not put it down and finished it by 2 am. The story follows Harold Fry who received a letter from an old acquaintance who is dying of terminal cancer. He writes a message and walks to the mail box to mail it. Except, he keeps walking to the next mail box, then to the post office, as his mind turns back to the past. He decides to deliver his reply in person. The hospice, however, is 500 miles away from the town where he lives. He just keeps on walking... Beautifully written, with characters fully developed, and surprises along the way. A must read!

Crimson Campaign
Brian McClelan
- Follow this link to read review published in the Deseret News newspaper in Salt Lake City, UT.

Chances Are
Traci Hunter Abramson
- Follow this link to read review published in the Deseret News newspaper in Salt Lake City, UT.

Promise of Blood
Brian McClelan
- Follow this link to read review published in the Deseret News newspaper in Salt Lake City, UT.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
Beth Hoffman
- Well written, engaging, funny. I love reading about Southerners in the 60's. CeeCee is a girl living in a small Ohio town. Her life circumstances lead her to live with her grand aunt in Savannah, Georgia. I had to muffle my laughs in order not to wake up DH from that point on. This novel provided a much needed 'vacation' from my days... and if you liked The Help, you will enjoy this one, too.

The Queen's Vow
C. W. Gortner
-I had been waiting for quite a while for a chance to read this book as I had read Gortner's other books. I enjoy his style... Gortner did a great job weaving the Spanish Inquisition and other prickly topics into his story. Isabel's portrayal was so interesting that I had a hard time putting this book down at night.
 The Power of Now
 Eckhart Tolle
-- This was his first book, and I now understand why Oprah made such a big fuss about it! Eckhart Tolle reminds us that all there is, all that matters, all that is worth caring about is the Now. Easy to read, chock full of eye-opening reasons to let go of the past and never, ever worry about the future. If you are ready to add peace to your life, read this book...
Lord of Publishing
Sterling Lord
- I purchased this book on a whim. What a great surprise! Believe it or not, it was a page turner as Sterling Lord told stories about many authors he represented (Lord is a publishing agent) during his long and brilliant career. It was interesting to learn the path authors traveled to become successful, how the publishing industry changed focus, how he worked at his business and supported his clients. An awesome read!

My Beloved World
Sonia Sotomayor
-- I could not wait to read her autobiography. Her inspiring story describes how a strong-willed, great observer, and intelligent girl went from living in a close-knit Puerto Rican clan to venturing into an unknown world where she learns to adapt and succeed beyond her wildest dreams. It is amazing how she also learned to live with Diabetes Type 1 from a very tender age... A must read!

The Writing Life
Annie Dillard
-- Here is a witty book about what is like to be a writer. You won't find instructions on how to write good sentences or chapters. Instead, you will get lots of stories about how and where Annie and other writers work at their craft. Her narrative is at once poetic and simple. For those of us who love to write, this book is a gem.

Life of Pi
Yann Martel
--Amazing story... I have not yet had the courage to watch the movie, although I heard it is very good. The book was glued to my hands until I finished it... Martel weaves a fantastic tale with animals, plants, religious beliefs, all intertwined as he describes many of our idiosyncrasies. This book will please any reader!

The Racketeer
John Grisham
-- His newest book is excellent! As with many of his most famous stories, this one is impossible to put down. His protagonist, this time, is already in prison from where he comes up with an ingenious way to be set free. Just what I needed to read this week!

The Pope Who Quit
Jon M. Sweeney
-- When I got this book I expected to read about intrigues related to Celestine V's life and death. Although the author does a good job depicting what Peter Morrone's life as a hermit must have been like, most of the book is spent explaining details about how the papacy functioned in the 13th century. Since there aren't many records at all about Peter Morrone's life, Jon M. Sweeney makes a lot of assumptions, which did not settle too well with me.

The Help
Kathryn Stockett
-- I watched the movie first, and then read the book. I am sad the book ended as I had gotten used to having the characters 'in my life' so to speak. I liked that the author divided the book into groups of chapters, so that the story was narrated by alternating characters. Detailing the lives of African-Americans in Mississippi in the 60s, Stockett evoked memories of my own experiences growing up in Brazil... An amazing book!

The Bone Garden
Terrie Gerritsen
-- Fun medical thriller/romance novel, and although the title may bring to mind horror stories, don't worry - this is not one of them. I enjoyed Terrie's writing style and plan to read her other books.

Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Jamie Ford
-- Jamie Ford's narrative depicts the Seattle International District during the WWII, the internment of Japanese families during that war, and the lives of a Chinese boy and Japanese girl as their love evolves. The intricacies of such high-context cultures are expertly portrayed. I read the book in one seating, and absolutely loved it. An amazing story!

Radical Forgiveness
Colin Tipping
-- I bought this book directly from Colin a few years ago, and every now and then I re-read it. Forgiveness, as he wisely explains, helps us get rid of stuff, old and new, that might be holding us back. Colin was super inspired when he wrote this book. This is another must-read. Now.

A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life's Purpose
Eckhart Tolle
-- If you are still wondering how you can enjoy what you have Today, who you are Today, and want to put your past and future into proper perspective, this is the book for you. Eckhart Tolle has a very simple way to express profound truths and principles. It has changed my life and I am sure it will change yours, too...

Buddha, a Story of Enlightenment
Deepak Chopra
-- Although I do not read his self-help books, this story was well worth it! Deepak chose a brilliant subject with which to display his gifted writing ability. His novel is as magical as the Buddha, as inspiring as Buddha's teachings. I highly recommend this book and am sure you will reread it often!

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels-a love story
Ree Drummond
-- This book was my introduction to Ree's blog. I loved the story, her witty writing style. and the many unexpected turn of events. I read until 3 am and only put it down because I had ahead of me a hard day of quilting at the retreat! If you are unfamiliar with Pioneer Woman, you will love it!

Fire in the Bones
S. Michael Wilcox
-- The breathtaking account of the English scholar William Tyndale's determination to translate the Bible into the English language in order to make it accessible to the peasants, and to expose the cleric's blatant ignorance of the Bible's contents. An amazing story which made me appreciate the Bible even more. Another must-read!!!

The Art of Racing in the Rain
Garth Stein
-- What a great story! Brilliantly told by the dog, it kept me hooked and I could not put it down until I was done. Great plot, well developed characters, compassionate message: this book has it all. You haven't read it yet? What are you waiting for???

It's Not About the Horse
Wyatt Web
-- I met Wyatt Web a few years ago when I went to Miraval in Tucson, Arizona. After attending his equine experience session, I was wandering through the gift shop at the spa and found his book. Very inspirational, with precious insights about how we can better experience life and "relate to all living things".

I, Claudius
Robert Graves
-- I could not put this book down. Amazing novel about Roman politics, written by a mostly non-fiction writer. The intrigue, the twists, the surprises... Graves steps into the emperor's shoes as he tells his gripping story. I felt as if I were living in Imperial Rome as I was reading.

The Screwtape Letters
C. S. Lewis
-- This book is amazing! C. S. Lewis is one of my very favorite writers... What creativity - to explain how human beings succumb to temptation through letters written by the wise devil, Screwtape, to his nephew, Wormwood. A classic!

Nickel and Dimed
Barbara Ehrenreich
-- Everybody should read this book. What a quick and effective way to remind us we're better off counting our blessings than complaining as much as we do. The author's experiment living as a low income citizen in this country, although short-lived, is an eye-opener. I wonder how many people in D.C. have read this book...

Who Wrote the Bible
Richard Elliott Friedman
-- Since I am interested in Bible studies and religion in general, this book was great! Friedman's journey to find out if the first 5 books of the bible were really written by Moses is fascinating, instructive, and fun. 

The Bible Unearthed 
Neil Asher Silberman and Israel Finkelstein
-- Growing up I wanted to be a teacher, an archaeologist, a psychologist. This book appealed to the archaeologist in me. If you ever wondered if there are any artifacts which might prove bible stories to be true, this book is for you. I loved it!

Catherine, the Great
Robert Massie
-- Robert Massie is an amazing storyteller. This book was well researched and his portrait of Catherine was as factual as he could manage it, yet so interesting that I read until almost three in the morning for the two or three nights it took me to finish it. You won't be able to put it down, either!

 Nicholas and Alexandra
Robert Massie
-- After I read Catherine, the Great, I was hooked on Massie's style and Russian history! Oh, I wanted to be there and tell Nicholas a few things about running his country. The massacre of Nicholas and his family stayed in my mind for many days after I read the book, as I wondered how human beings go descend to such low levels. As soon as I found out that Massie had written a follow up to this book, I had to read it (below).

The Romanovs, the Final Chapter
Robert Massie
-- The end of the Russian autocracy is explained in interesting detail by Massie. No, you won't feel as though you were back in high school - his prose is rich, the story is backed up by solid research, and you will miss the Romanovs once you finish the book. Next on my list is Peter, the Great!

Memoirs of a Geisha
Arthur Golden
-- This book will knock down any stereotypical ideas you might have had about Geishas. The descriptions are so amazing that I felt I was holding a picture book instead.

Making Rounds with Oscar
David Dosa
-- I had read about this cat who seemed to know when patients at a nursing home were about to die. The author, a doctor at the home, goes from an attitude of disbelief to one of admiration, as he 'researches' this mystery cat. All along, I learned a lot about Alzheimer's and how it affects the lives of patients and their family members. And I came to love Jamie, my soon to be 18-year-old girl cat, even more...

Heaven is for Real
Todd Burpo
--After reading this story I decided I needed to include the baby I lost through miscarriage as an actual member of our family. The experience which Colton, 4-year-old at the time, had is inspiring, answers questions for believers such as myself, and adds other questions to mind, too.

Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese
-- Spectacular! This author blew my mind with his capacity to interweave medical and surgical details into a story in a way which did not bore or confuse me. The novel revolves around the life of twin brothers, their Indian mother and their American surgeon father. Set in Ethiopia, and later in the US, this novel has all the ingredients for a perfect read: love story, political intrigue, action, and adventure. All in one well written package.

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
C. W. Gortner
-- I love this writer! Upon reading this book I searched for his other book (below). The protagonist is portrayed as a human, susceptible to poor judgment, longing for affection, describing the hardships involved in being a of a queen in France in the 16th century. Well written, compassionate tale of a remarkable woman.

The Last Queen: a novel
C. W. Gortner
-- Gortner tells the story of Juana, queen of Spain, later called "the crazy". Read the book and you will want to travel back in time and right the wrongs done to her. Again, another reason why I have not watched TV in such a looooooong time! With vivid descriptions, engaging prose and well developed characters, this is a must read!

Behold the Dawn
K. M. Weiland
-- I have been reading a lot of historical novels lately. This novel was very well written, includes a lot of good action (war), and you will not want to wait until tomorrow to see what happens. The author proves she knows her craft well, with a compelling store and a brilliant writing style. Check it out!


  1. Visiting your blog thru a Blog Hop & your "One Woman Book Club" caught my eye. I'm impressed! You sure are an eclectic reader. I read alot to & have read several of the books you mention and I added a few of yours to my "To Read" list. Here are a few of my favorites that might interest you: Susan Vreeland's The Passion of Artemesia, Annie Barrow's The Guernsey Literary & Potato Society, Jean Hegland's Into the Forest, Rachel Simon's The Story of Beautiful Girl, and Tracy Chevalier's Girl With A Pearl Earring.

  2. Read "the History of Love" by Nicole Krauss. I have read it 3 times and then listened to it many times on Audible. It is a wonderful Story.

  3. Have you read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett? Awesome! I will read some of the books you have read. Love my Kindle too!

  4. I love the idea of a one person book club! I've read about 4 of the books on your list and I like how eclectic it is. I am a very slow reader, but always have one book on the go. In Britain now, it has become very much the fashion for every church, charity shop, doctor's surgery or organisation to have a book stall - usually for about 50p a book - not sure what that is in dollars, but I doubt it is even one. I find it a great joy to browse these little stalls - and then of course swapping with friends just adds to the pleasure. I haven't got a Kindle and can't quite imagine doing away with the pleasure of paper and print - or the fun of browsing.

  5. We certainly have similar interests in books. I have read so many of those listed. But you have given me several new titles so I am grateful! Looking forward to checking back on your list. I still prefer print to reading on a tablet so I am a huge fan of the library. I don't usually read a book twice so don't often buy them - except when I see a good one at the used book store.


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