Sunday, May 24, 2009


HOW I LIVE NOW by Meg Rosoff: I'm a little late jumping onto this bandwagon, but I love the voice in this one. Also the love story. It'll break your heart.

WATER STREET by Crystal Wilkinson: These are inter-related short stories, and I loved them. Isn't there always a story behind the story?? This book tells both the surface stories we show our neighbors and the really deep stories we sometimes aren't even quite aware of ourselves. I would love to write a book of short stories in a similar vein (kind of like Paul Fleischman did with SEEDFOLKS).

THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan: Zombie apocalyse stories are not usually my thing, but this book held my attention in spite of that particular detail. It really is all about the characters. I was rooting for Mary the whole way down those creepy trails.

SHINE COCONUT MOON by Neesha Meminger: I love a book that introduces me to a new world, and this one sure did. The best part was discovering it WITH the main character. I think we all struggle with this "who am I?" issue at multiple points in life... good stuff.

THE WELL AND THE MINE by Gin Phillips: This one is set in Birmingham 1930's West Jefferson County, Alabama, which, of course, is coal mining country. And with my book LEAVING GEE'S BEND also being set in 1930's Alabama, I was particularly interested in this story. What I found was that the coal mining families in Gin's book weren't nearly as impoverished as the sharecropper families in Gee's Bend. I am really looking forward to July when Gin presents "Making History Come Alive" and delivers the keynote at Alabama Writers Conclave.

IF THE LEGENDS FADE by Tom Hendrix: Now here is a fascinating tale. Young native American girl marched off to the Indian Nations in Oklahoma then escapes and walks for five years to get back to the place where the river sings (Tennessee River in Florence, Alabama).

What's next? Oh, the list is very long. But I think it will be THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett. I've heard good things... I'll let you know.


  1. Irene, great list, I will have to check these books out soon. I just started reading Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It is very long, but very good so far. I pulled it up on my Kindle, but I am going to order the hard copy because I like the feel of large books! The kindle is wonderful to carry around, but I need the full reading experience!

    My oldest Angel graduated from college on Saturday! I am so proud of her.

    Hugs and love,

  2. Fun! I'm putting together my summer list now, and I think I will be adding a few of your suggestions. And next year, yours will be at the top of my list!!


  3. Hi Irene!

    This is a good list! I've been meaning to read some of those myself, especially The Help, since I'm also working on a historical novel (middle grade). Love to read yours when it comes out next year! :)


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