This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is to post about our last 10 five-star reads.
1. Behave by Andromeda Romano-Lax. Rosalie Rayner Watson comes to life through the pages of Romano-Lax’ s Behave. We see the character mature from an idealistic and entitled young woman to a harried young mother who realizes the choices for women who want it all, in the Twenties and thirties, are limited. At times, I simply forgot I was reading a book that wasn’t taking place right now as the story is still so relatable, right down to the male professor and/or executive and his power both in and out of the classroom or boardroom. The fact that this novel is based on real people and the theory of behaviorism, a seemingly flawed study, is all the more fascinating. This really is an interesting novel that is well worth the read.
2. The Girls by Emma Clone.From the Publisher. Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader.
3. The Beautiful Possible by Amy Gottlieb. This is a love story of people and a love story of words, passionately charged, beautifully told. Gottlieb imagines the life of a young rabbi with such detail for the time period, you can feel yourself in seminary, in shul. Her imagery is lyrical and the characters are so well drawn and oh so flawed. Don’t read this if infidelity and sexual content disturb you.
4. In the Land of Armadillos by Helen Maryles Shankman. The first story, In the Land of Armadillos, is worth the price of admission. Marlyes Shankman creates such colorful imagery and beauty with her writing that she somehow brings a humanity to the horrors she is depicting. The holocaust is never an easy subject to read or remember, but she manages to give grace and sometimes a needed irony to the victims of the Nazi occupation. This is so well-written with a bit of whimsy and magical realism that it is one of my favorite reads of 2016.
5. The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson. From the Publisher. The Opposite of Everyone is a story about story itself, how the tales we tell connect us, break us, and define us, and how the endings and beginnings we choose can destroy us . . . and make us whole. Laced with sharp humor and poignant insight, it is beloved New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson at her very best.
6. All the Things We Never Knew: Chasing the Chaos of Mental Illness by Sheila Hamilton. From the Publisher. All the Things We Never Knew takes readers on a breathtaking journey from David and Sheila’s romance through the last three months of their life together and into the year after his death. It details their unsettling spiral from ordinary life into the world of mental illness, examines the fragile line between reality and madness, and reveals the true power of love and forgiveness.
7. We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. From the Publisher. In this personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
8. Between Gods by Alison Pick. Pick is raised Christian but finds out her family was actually Jewish, some perished in Aushwitz and has severe depression and an identity crisis. From the Publisher. Profound, honest, and masterfully written—Between Gods forces us to reexamine our beliefs and the extent to which they define us.
9. Georgia by Dawn Tripp. From the Publisher. A breathtaking work of the imagination, Georgia is the story of a passionate young woman, her search for love and artistic freedom, the sacrifices she will face, and the bold vision that will make her a legend.
10. Here Comes the Dreamer by Carole Giangrande From GoodReads. Here Comes the Dreamer is a moving account of how a tragic accident changes, and haunts, the intertwined lives of a painter, his gifted and troubled daughter, and the young woman who befriends them. It astutely probes the moods and mores of suburban America in the ’50s and ’60s, and later, of Toronto.