The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

Year in Review



It’s hard to believe that another year is coming to a close. I have enjoyed reviewing and blogging about books and have decided which were my favorites and those that weren’t.

My absolute favorite was a book I received from Book Browse as a Reader’s Advance Copy, The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman.  This complicated story of two sisters, Natalie and Alice and their intricate relationship is beautifully written in a pace that slowly unravels the story. The tale lingers with you long after the last page.

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell was a favorite too but for a totally different reason. This story baffles me many months after I’ve read it. I still can’t decide what was real and what was fictitious in this novel. Was Odalie the imagination of Rose or was it the other way around? Perhaps they both existed!!!!

The next book has gotten a lot of attention on all sorts of lists this month. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty was another Book Browse selection that hit the mark on many levels.  Secrets and their consequences compel the reader through a well-written novel. This book has been chosen again and again by book clubs because of the depth of discussion it provides.

Last but not least, Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole has made this best list. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, it is another incredible story told through letters. The letters made the story have a personal feeling almost as if I was reading correspondence from friends.

Ok, now for those that I didn’t care for:

Five Days by Douglas Kennedy was pretty unfortunate. Kennedy’s stories are interesting but again like The Moment is entirely too wordy. The story about a woman’s affair and its affects on her marriage became a drag to read. As I’ve said before; I am not a fan of his writing.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan was a book club selection for me this year. I’m still not entirely sure what this book was about and I don’t want to re-read it to find out.  Yeah, it was that bad.

I disliked Lessons in French by Hilary Reyl so much that it didn’t even get a review. Nothing more left to say.

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh is an historical fiction that delivered worthy historical facts but a poorly developed story.

The next book was the biggest disappointment of the year, Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford, sadly was poorly executed. I expected so much from Ford as Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was such a beautifully written story that had me waiting for another like it.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t at all like his first novel. If it weren’t for the details of Chinese traditions; I would have thought someone other than Ford wrote it.

Well that wraps up my reading in 2013. I am looking forward to being introduced to new writers and spending time with well known ones in 2014. I hope you will join me. I wish you all a happy, healthy and bountiful New Year.



One response to “Year in Review

  1. susanbright January 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Great list! I am going to add The Gravity of Birds to my to read list. Happy New Years to you and yours!

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