Here's what I've been reading the last two months:
by Emma Donoghue
This story is told by Jack, who was born in Room where he lives with his mother. Ma was kidnapped at age 19, a victim of repeated rape. She became pregnant by her captor, and raised Jack in her windowless, sound proof Room. Jack believes that the people and places on their TV are not real, and that there is nothing beyond Room but outer space, which they can see out Room's skylight. Ma has a crazy idea to escape from Room and from Old Nick, their captor. The idea relies on Jack, though, and she must tell him the truth about the real world. Jack doesn't believe any of it, which makes the plan very dangerous. Will he be able to do what is asked of him? Will he be able to talk to outsiders and get help so Ma can be rescued by the police? Will the plan work at all, or will they continue to be held captive? If they are rescued, will they be able to cope in the outside world? After all, Jack has never had pure sunlight on his skin, never had a haircut, and never seen cars or buildings or other people. Such a good book.
by Jessica Warman
Check out my integrated advisory post on this title.
by Francisco X. Stork
Read my review over at the PDL Staff Choices blog.
by Elizabeth Berg
I attended my twenty year high school reunion in July, and read this book shortly afterward. It is about a class having their fortieth reunion. I laughed at how they still wanted to impress each other, and were still awkward and self-conscious with each other. Everyone has problems, like divorce, health problems, and money problems. (That was true of people at my twentieth reunion too, actually...). This is a great author, comparable to the likes of Barbara Delinsky, Elinor Lipman, Jeanne Ray, and Haywood Smith.
by Charise Mericle Harper
I was trying to find some books to buy my niece for her birthday, and since her name is Grace, I gave this series a look. Cute! It is filled with things my niece will love: a little girl who loves cats, loves taking pictures, wants to help her lonely teacher who lives next door, who hates stinky gross boys (particularly Sammy Stringer), and who finds herself in a pickle even though her intentions were good. Comparable to Ivy and Bean, Beezus and Ramona, and Clementine, to name a few series for kids in this age group.
by Deborah Schneider
I love Mexican food, and I love using my slow cooker. There are some good-looking recipes in this book, but to be honest they require more work than I want to put into slow cooker cooking. This is weekend cooking, not weeknight cooking. I'd need time and ambition to shop for the ingredients, for one thing. I know my local grocery store has international ingredients like these, and I wouldn't have too much trouble finding the dried peppers and different spices these recipes call for. It would just require a little planning ahead. I loved looking through this book - we'll see if I actually make anything out of it, though.