First batch of novels read in 2016…

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languageofflowersbookI have been slipping in some reading time when possible so far in 2016. This year I have had some trouble randomly selecting books so have been finding some good recommendations online and ordering them in at the library. Here is what I have read so far. Definitely some good ones! I hope there will be many more like these ones to come.

The Pearl that Broke its Shell by Nadia Hashimi-This book depicts the lives of two women living in Afghanistan during different time periods and illustrates the struggles they faced due to their sex and gender-as well as how they were able to each escape this for parts of their lives. An interesting novel, well written, and I would definitely recommend it.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh-I really enjoyed this book about a troubled young woman who grows up in various foster and group homes but develops a love for flowers through one of her foster mothers. This leads her to getting a job at a florist when she is free of government care and examines how flowers (and their Victorian meanings) help her cope with her past, present, and future. Great to learn about all the meanings of flowers and totally wanted to get a part time job at a florist on the side.

soldierswifebookHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford-This novel is about a young Chinese American boy who falls in love with a Japanese American girl who is forced to go to a Japanese internment camp. It follows their relationship and portrays the boy’s life years after her loses touch with the girl.

Maine by J. Courteney Sullivan-Love family drama? Read this! This novel is about a few female characters in a family and the beach house they share. A fun read with relate-able parts if you have a difficult family 🙂

The Japanese Lover by Isabelle Allende-This novel also touches on the subject of Japanese internment camps in the US but follows the life of a young lady who moves from Poland to the USA during WW2. At the same time, it tells the tale of a young girl who has moved to the USA who comes to work for the above mentioned lady at a seniors’ care home. This author never disapoints and I have enjoyed all her books thus far.

undressmeinthetempleofheavenbookThe Soldiers Wife by Margaret Leroy-I loved this book. It takes place on the island of Guernsey in the UK and is about a wife and mother whose husband is away during WW2. Nazis occupy the island and move in next door. The author does a wonderful job of really bringing this island to life in one’s imagination.

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward-This novel takes place 10 days before Hurricane Katrina hits Mississippi and is centered around a family. They are poor, the father is an alcoholic, the mother has passed away, and the 4 siblings are doing their best to take care of each other.

Undress me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Gilman-When I picked this book up I thought it was fiction but it is actually the author’s experience traveling with a college friend to China just after it opened up to westerners in the 1980s. All travelers-especially those who have gone on a trip with an acquaintance they suddenly had to rely on and spend copious amounts of time with-can relate to some bits of this book which made it a fun read.

eleanorandparkbookMidnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie-This is a novel I avoided for a long time even though I never knew what it was actually about. I had a bad impression for some reason but it was nothing like what I expected. I enjoyed it quite a bit and felt truly transported during the Bombay years of this novel. Absolutely recommended-but I enjoyed the first 2 thirds or so more than the last.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell-This is a cute 80’s teenage love story targeting young adults. It is short and simple to read and you really find yourself wishing the best for the two main characters. A good read for anyone of any age I would say.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher-This is another book targeting younger adults but is about a teen who kills herself and leaves behind 13 audio recordings that help some of her peers understand why she took such an action-and how they played a role in her decision. Teen life can be tough.

 

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