What I read in November and December 2014
Up From Orchard Street by Eleanor Widmer
Immigrant family of three generations living together trying to make it on New Yorks lower east side based around WWII era. The story hops around focusing on different characters throughout the book but is told from one narrators perspective.
This was a reread for me (for bookclub). It was fascinating hearing the group dissect the story and writing. I breezed through it the first time but reading it in regards to leading a discussion made me have completely different feelings about this one. I liked it through the first time, but was more critical the second time through.
Encyclopedia Brown Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
Encyclopedia Brown is a kid genius and notices, discovers and understands things a bit differently than most people. So when mystery's go unsolved Encyclopedia can find the answer.
I read this and a few others in the series with my 8 year old. She LOVED trying to guess what it was that he figured out. I think she mostly liked flipping to the answers like she was in on the secret.
The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon
New Adult, Romance
Moses has always felt cracked, broken and unwanted. In order to quiet the waters, he paints. And he's brilliant at it. Next door neighbor Georgia is determined to be his friend but he's not sure he needs any.
I didn't love this one right away as much as I loved all other Amy Harmon books. I dont know if the characters weren't developed enough for me or if their relationship wasn't developed enough. I did keep reading though, but it was just ok for me.
Code Talker by Chester Nez with Judith Schiess Avila
Non Fiction, History, Memoir
Navajo men were asked to join in the battles of WWII for a secret mission. After they joined they were told they were going to help develop a secret code that the enemy's couldn't break. Chester was one of the original 29 code talkers.
This book was a memoir of Chesters life. It had a lot of story about growing up in the Navajo nation and trying to help his family earn a living, deciding ultimately that he could help them more if he went to school to learn to read and write English. I'd guess it's about half and half Navajo and WWII stories. I found it very fascinating.
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
New Adult, Contemporary
Sydney often sits on her deck and listens to a stranger, Ridge, across the way play his guitar. One day he holds up a paper with his number and asks her to text him. Their friendship is bold and honest and understanding. From the start through the book.
This is my first Colleen Hoover book and I loved so much about it. There were a few spots I had a hard time with but I loved the raw feeling of it. I felt often times I could describe the book or scene in one word: swoon. I must say though, that I like Sydney just as much as I like Ridge. I'll probably reread this one again.
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Young Adult, Contemporary
When Sky meets Holder she's intrigued. At a chance second meeting she decides to get to know him. He's both her rock and what makes her world crumble.
I'm an instant fan of Colleen Hoover after the last two books. I love the characters she develops and the connections they have. It may be because her characters seem more mature, grounded or open, I haven't decided yet, but I like it. This plot was a bit tough (without spoiling) but the story telling and writing made me stick with it.