Books Read 2009 to 2013

UnknownThe lists of books reflect my five years of reading and writing reviews – from 2009 to 2013.  The list jogs my memory, reminding me of good stories read and some I may want to reread.  Maybe you will find some old favorites in the lists or a few good books you’ve missed.

You can read my reviews by typing in the book title into the “Search” box on the website.

2009   (Short list – started writing in December)

  • A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve
  • The Almond Picker by S.A. Hornby (family saga set in Sicily)
  • Drood by Dan Simmons (long but worth it, especially if you are a fan of Charles Dickens)
  • Sweetwater by  Roxanna Robinson (good Southern mystery with a little romance)
  • The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones (alternative to Julia and French cooking with good storyline)
  • A Trace of Smoke by O.J. Bryson (tobacco industry suspense/thriller )
  • Mary Lincoln: Biography by Jean Baker (different perspective of a first lady)
  • The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson (embroidery ala tales ofArabian nights)
  • Geography of Bliss by Erin Weiner (happiness is not where you think it is)
  • The Lace Reader by Brunomia Barrry (Salem witches tear-jerker)
  • The Women by T.C. Boyle (more on Frank Lloyd Wright’s women – expanded Loving Frank)
  • The Thirteenth Tale
  • Crossing to Safety
  • Plato and Platypus
  • Sugar Queen
  • The Commoner
  • Beginner’s Greek
  • The Lightning Thief


  • The Cellist of Sarajevo
  • Not Becoming My Mother by Ruth Reichl
  • Our Life in Gardens by Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd 
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  • Queen of the Underworld by Gail Godwin
  • Wherever you Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 
  • Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman
  • Here Comes Everybody – The Power of  Organizing Without Organizations
  • The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
  • A Reliable Wife
  • Tepper Isn’t Going Out by Calvin Trillin
  • The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard
  • Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave
  • Waiting by Ha Jin
  • The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
  • Crazy in the Kitchen by Louise DeSalvo
  • South of Broad by Pat Conroy
  • The Bear Went Over the Mountain by William Kotzwinkle
  • The Big Burn by Timothy Egan
  • The Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian
  • Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Magician’s Assistant – A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia by Laura Miller
  • Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
  • The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Major Pettigrew by Helen Simonson
  • The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  • The Pleasures and Sorrows of  Work by Alain de Botton
  • The Last Secret by Mary McGarry Morris
  • Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt
  • The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine
  • The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller
  • The Wild Places by Robert Marfarlane
  • Run by Ann Patchett
  • Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
  • 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan
  • The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey
  • I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
  • The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
  • Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him by Danielle Ganek
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
  • My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
  • The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
  • The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
  • Plato and Platypus Walk into a Bar by Cathcart, Klein, and Heller
  • The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
  • The Wives of Henry Oades by Joanna Moran
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  • Romancing Miss Brontë by Juliet Gael
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  • In Good Things I Wish for You by A. Manette Ansay
  • Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
  • So Cold the River by Michael Koryta
  • The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone
  • The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault
  • Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard
  • A Short History of Women by Dorothy Trevor Townsend
  • Remembering Smell by Bonnie Blodgett
  • Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
  • An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude by Amy Vanderhoof
  • Unfinished Desires by Gail Godwin
  • Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era  by Caroline Moorehead
  • This Must Be The Place by Kate Racculia
  • The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry
  • The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
  • The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst
  • The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman
  • Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  • The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees
  • Abby Carnelia’s One and Only Magical Power by David Progue
  • Ape House by Sara Gruen
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin
  • Invisible by Paul Auster
  • The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
  • Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Labor Day by Joyce Maynard
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris
  • A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • The Widower’s Tale by Julie Glass
  • The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Gunning
  • The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva
  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
  • The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
  • The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
  • When Everything Changed  by Gail Collins
  • Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Julian Alter
  • Great House by Nicole Krauss
  • Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
  • Rescue by Anita Shreve
  • Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

2011   (This year I decided to try to post everyday – and did – only the books are included below)

  1. The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
  2. By Nightfall by Michael CunninghamThe Wave by Susan Casey
  3. Old Filth by Jane Gardam
  4. Lord of the Rings by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
  5. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
  6. How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
  7. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  8. The Wave by Susan Casey
  9. Earth: A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race by Jon Stewart
  10. Mr. Toppit by Charles Elton
  11. Eat This, Not That by David Zinczenko
  12. The Lord of Misrule by Jamie Gordon
  13. True Grit by Charles Portis
  14. Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam
  15. Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten
  16. Cooking with Fernet Branca by James Hamilton-Paterson
  17. The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards
  18. Room by Emma Donoghue
  19. As Always, Julia by Joan Reardon
  20. Yoga in Bed by Edward Vilga
  21. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
  22. An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
  23. Where Writers, and Readers, Feel at Home and Ursula Under
  24. It’s A Book by Lane Smith
  25. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
  26. The New Yorker Cartoons of the Year
  27. The Yellow House by Martin Gayford
  28. Delirious by Daniel Palmer
  29. The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam
  30. Honolulu by Alan Brennert
  31. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother 
  32. The Wolves of Andover by Kathleen Kent
  33. Half Broken Things by Morag Joss
  34. Love Among the Greats by Edith Pearlman
  35. Redwall by Brian Jacques
  36. Just Kids by Patti Smith
  37. Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland
  38. The Last Summer of the World by Emily Mitchell
  39. The Billionaire’s Vinegar by  Benjamin Wallace
  40. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  41. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
  42. This Book is Overdue! by Marilyn Johnson
  43. Enough About Love by Herve le Tellier
  44. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  45. Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld
  46. The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
  47. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead
  48. The Confession by John Grisham
  49. I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron
  50. Perfect Reader by Maggie Pouncey
  51. The Cypress House by Michael Koryta
  52. Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
  53. A New Light on Tiffany by Margaret K. Hofer, Martin Edelberg, Nina Gray
  54. The Adjustment Bureau by Philip Dick
  55. The Metropolis Case by Matthew Gallaway
  56. Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond
  57. A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
  58. Grange House by Sarah Blake
  59. Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage by Hazel Rowley
  60. The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allan
  61. Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robinson
  62. Night Road by Kristin Hannah
  63. Come to the Edge by Christina Haag
  64. The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
  65. Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
  66. A Covert Affair by  Jennet Conant
  67. Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
  68. The Family Man by Elinor Lipman
  69. Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd
  70. The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace
  71. Beginner’s Guide to Edible Herbs by Charles Smith
  72. Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by  Ruppel Shell
  73. Shakespeare’s Kitchen by Francine Segan
  74. The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale
  75. Ann Beattie – The New Yorker Stories
  76. The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
  77. Never Say Die – the Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age by Susan Jacoby
  78. Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman
  79. All My Patients Have Tales by Jeff Wells
  80. The Book Club Cook Book by Judy Gelman
  81. How to Live – A Life of Montagne In One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by  Sarah Bakewell
  82. The Millennium Cookbook by Eric Tucker
  83. The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman
  84. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  85. The Paris Wife by Paula McClain
  86. Physics of the Future by Mikio Kaku
  87.  The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley
  88. In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
  89. The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht
  90. Georgia Bottoms by Mark Childress
  91. The Tiger’s Wife, continued
  92. One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  93. The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
  94. Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross
  95. Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama
  96. The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal
  97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
  98. Swamplandia! by karen Russell
  99.  Eucalyptus by Murray Bail
  100. Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
  101. Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell (Jane Goodall)
  102. The Valcourt Heiress by Catherine Coulter
  103. She Walks in Beauty by Caroline Kennedy
  104. Mu Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow
  105. The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
  106. Nesting Tips – Avian Architecture
  107. Books That Put Me to Sleep
  108. Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
  109. City of Thieves by David Benioff
  110. Nom De Plume by Carmela Ciuraru
  111. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  112. To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal
  113.  The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James
  114. The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
  115. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
  116. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  117. The Forgery of Venus by Michael Gruber
  118. The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg
  119. City of Thieves by David Benioff’
  120.  Gone by Mo Hadley
  121. Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
  122. Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank
  123. Trapped by Michael Northrup
  124. Amelia and Eleanor Go For a Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan
  125. One Summer by David Baldacci
  126. Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
  127. American Heiress by Daisy Miller
  128. Private Life by Jane Smiley
  129. Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson
  130. Forgotten by Cat Patrick
  131. Julia Spencer-Fleming’s In the Bleak Midwinter
  132. Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
  133. Julia’s Chocolates by Cathy Lamb
  134. S.J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep
  135. Monica Ali’s Untold Story
  136. The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
  137. Mary Doria Russell’s  Doc 
  138. Clotilde Dusoulier’s Chocolate and Zucchini
  139. The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  140. Francine Prose’s My New American Life
  141. The Last Letter from Your Lover by JoJo Moyes
  142. Wendy and the Lost Boys by Julie Salamon
  143. Cathy Lamb’s The First Day of the Rest of My Life
  144. Michael Parker’s The Watery Part of the World
  145. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
  146. Amanda Hodgkinson’s 22 Britannia Road
  147. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
  148. The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  149. Jo Nesbø’s  The Snowman
  150. Nina Sankowitch’s Tolstoy and the Purple Chair
  151. Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein
  152. Margaret Leroy’s The Soldier’s Wife
  153. Kitty Pilgrim’s The Explorer’s Code
  154. The Moment by Douglas Kennedy 
  155. Joanne Harris’s Gentlemen and Players
  156. Dominique Browning’s Paths of Desire – The Passions of a Suburban Gardener
  157. Madeleine Wickham’s 40 Love
  158. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  159. David Eagleman’s Incognito – The Secret Lives of the Brain
  160.  A Fountain Filled With Blood by Julia Spencer-Fleming
  161. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
  162. The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes
  163. Doreen Cronin’s children’s book – Click, Clack, Moo-Cows That Type
  164. Elizabeth Berg’s Once Upon a Time There Was You
  165. Simon Mawer’s The Glass Room
  166. The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
  167. Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck
  168. Amor Towles’ Rules of Civility
  169. Carol Birch’s Jamrach’s Menagerie
  170. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  171. Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
  172. Peter Hedges’ The Heights
  173. Rosamund Lupton’s Sister
  174. Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding
  175. Thanhha Lai’s National Book Award finalist Inside Out & Back Again
  176. Urban Homesteading by Rachel Kaplan and K. Ruby Blume
  177. Ben Loory’s Stories for Nighttime and Some for Day
  178. Anne Enright’s The Forgotten Waltz
  179. Annie Jacobsen’s Area 51 – An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base
  180. Bumble-Ardy by Maurice Sendak
  181. Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
  182.  Katherine Paterson and John Paterson edited the 1910 British fantasy The Flint Heart by Eden Phillpotts
  183. Daphne Kalotay’s Russian Winter
  184. Lois Lowry and Eric Rohmann collaborated on Bless This Mouse
  185. Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers
  186.  Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons
  187. Maile Meloy’s collection of 11 short stories in Both Ways Is The Only Way I Want It
  188. Allan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child
  189. Julie Otsuka’s The Buddha in the Attic
  190. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
  191. Maile Meloy’s The Apothecary
  192. Neville by Norton Juster
  193. Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil
  194. Sybil Brinton’s 1913 publication – Old Friends and New Fancies
  195. William Joyce’s The Man in the Moon 
  196. Susan Orlean’s Rin Tin Tin
  197. Alan Bradley’s  precocious British detective in I Am Half-Sick of Shadows
  198. Stephen King’s 11/22/63
  199. Jessica Day George’s Tuesdays at the Castle
  200.  Ellie Krieger’s Comfort Food Fix

Whew – that was a lot of books – plus 165 assorted posts on news articles, essays, books lists, book awards… for 365 posts.  Glad this was not a leap year.

2012    (I slowed down a bit – no more post-a-day.  Below is a selected list of reads from 2012)

  • The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
  • The House at Sea’s End  by Elly Griffiths
  • Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie
  • Colin Meloy’s Wildwood
  • The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak
  • Bella Pollen’s Cold War mystery –The Summer of the Bear
  • Prince Philip: The Turbulent Early Life of the Man Who Married Queen Elizabeth II by Philip Eade
  • John Grisham’s  legal thriller – The Litigators
  • Meghan Daum’s humorous memoir Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House
  • Denis Johnson’s  116 page novella – Train Dreams
  • A Stitch in Time by British author Penelope Lively
  • The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt, Caroline Preston
  • Margot Livesey’s gothic romance –  The Flight of Gemma Harding
  • Maris Duenas’s The Time In Between
  • Margot Livesey’s The House on Fortune Street
  • Penelope Lively’s How It All Began
  • Jeffrey Archer’s Only Time Will Tell
  • Jack Gantos award-winning young adult book – Dead End in Norvelt
  • Anne Sebba’s biography of Wallis Simpson – That Woman
  • Kathryn Harrison’s historical fiction – Enchantments
  • An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer
  • The Technologists – historical thriller by Matthew Pearl
  • Hilary Mantel’s sequel to Wolf Hall – Bring Up the Bodies
  • Anne Tyler’s The Beginner’s Goodbye
  • William Landay’s courtroom crime story –Defending Jacob
  • Christopher Moore’s Sacré Bleu
  • Anna Quindlen’s memoir – Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
  • Jon Agee’s children’s book – The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau
  • Maggie Hope’s spy mystery  – Mr. Churchill’s Secretary 
  • Katherine Howe’s historical novel The House of Velvet and Glass
  • Chomp  by Carl Hiaasen
  • Harriet Lane’s Alys, Always
  • Ruiz Zafón’s Gothic tale of mystery and political intrigue – The Prisoner of Heaven
  • M.L. Stedman ‘s The Light Between Oceans
  • A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night  by Deborah Harkness
  • Lois Lowry’s Son
  • Alan Furst’s Mission to Paris
  • Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
  • Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
  • Dr. Andrew Weil’s cookbook – True Food
  • Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver


  • Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
  • B. A. Shapiro’s The Art Forger
  • Ann Leary’s The Good House
  • Jenny Milchman’s debut thriller – Cover of Snow
  • Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan – 2013 Newbery Winner
  • Herman Koch’s The Dinner
  • Clare Vanderpool’s Navigating Early
  • Jennifer Egan’s The Keep
  • Elizabeth Berg’s Tapestry of Fortunes
  • Clare Messud’s  The Woman Upstairs
  • Elizabeth Strou’s The Burgess Boys
  • Kent Haruf’s Benediction
  • Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life
  • Theresa Anne Fowler’s Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
  • Jane Gardam’s Last Friends
  • Liane Moriarty’s What Alice Forgot
  • Paul Rudnick’s  Gorgeous
  • James Salter’s All That Is
  • Maggie O’Farrell’s Instructions for a Heatwave
  • Faye Weldon’s Habits of the House and Long Live the King
  • Susan Elia MacNeal’s Maggie Hope mystery series – His Majesty’s Hope
  • Kate Klise’s In the Bag
  • A. L. Kennedy’s Blue Book
  • Anton DiSclafani’s coming of age tale The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
  • Chris Bohjalian’s Light in the Ruins
  • Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane
  • Judy Blume’s Tiger Eyes
  • Kate Atkinson’s Behind the Scenes at the Museum 
  • Khaled Hosseini’s sad tale of an Afghan family – And the Mountains Echoed
  • Priya Basil’s “quick read” short novel – Strangers on the 16:02
  • Tessa Hadley’s The London Train
  • Dan Brown’s latest mystery thriller – Inferno
  •  A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  • Julie Fogliano’s children’s picture book If You Want To See A Whale
  • Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret
  • Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
  • The Sound of Broken Glass by Deborah Crombie
  • Elizabeth Black’s Gothic mystery – The Drowning House
  • Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch
  • Anita Shreve’s Stella Bain
  • Émile Zola’s classic – Au Bonheur Des Dames (The Ladies’ Delight)
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by J.K. Rowling
  • Jo Baker’s Longbourn
  • Liane Moriarty’s The Hypnotist’s Love Story
  • The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Mark Slouka’s  Brewster
  • Curtis Sittenfeld’s Sisterland
  • Deb Caletti’s psychological thriller –He’s Gone
  • Alice Hoffman’s Survival Lessons
  • Tom Perrotta’s Nine Inches
  • Jennifer Worth’s Call the Midwife
  • JoJo Moyes – The Girl You Left Behind
  • Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
  • Katherine Rundell’s Rooftoppers
  • Diane Setterfield’s strange new fiction – Bellman and Black
  • Juan Gabriel Vásquez’s The Sound of Things Falling
  • Rick Hanson’s Hardwiring Happiness
  • Stephen King’s sequel, Doctor Sleep
  • Cynthia Voigt’s Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things




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