Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Plan your fall reading

I dont' know about you, but I don't get as much reading done in the summer as I'd like. It seems like summers are always packed with outdoor activities to enjoy, gardening to do, picnics and parties to attend, and of course a stay-cation to get some things done around the house.

So now that things are winding down, I have a few really good books to share. They have no particular connection to one another except that they are all by female authors.

The first is The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. This is Morton's second novel and I've been telling everyone I know about it. The plot moves at a good pace -- fast enough to keep you interested but slow enough to develop the characters. Plus the story takes place in three different time frames, so you really have to pay attention to where you are in the characters' lives. It's the story of a family history lost and rediscovered.

Having enjoyed Kate Morton's book so much, I just started her other novel, The House at Riverton, which was actually her first novel. It is promising to be just as enjoyable as The Forgotten Garden.

After reading The Forgotten Garden I read The Book of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring. While I wasn't crazy about the way this book ended ... it has a pretty typical type of ending ... the characters in the story made it well worth the read. I don't want to give away the story, but 9-year-olds Winnalee and Button and their family members are great fun getting to know.

After that I dove into The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s against the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement, the story juxtaposes the lives of middle and upper middle class white women and the black maids who take care of the white families. Important to the story are the changes in society as they reflect the changes in the lives of two maids, Minnie and Aibilene, and one young, privileged white woman, Skeeter.

Finally, I just finished The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory. For any fan of historical fiction, Gregory is a real treat. In this, the first installment of a new series about the Plantagenets, Gregory focuses on the ambitious Elizabeth Woodville, who marries Edward IV, and the mysterious disappearance of her two sons and heirs to the throne. After her book The Other Boleyn Girl (also a good read) was made into a movie, we've seen an increase in the popularity of her books.

Happy fall reading. Dawn S. @ Warrenton

Mary Cassatt's Woman Reading (oil on canvas,32-1/4x23-1/2 inches) is exhibited at the JoslynArt Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.


  1. Sandra Gulland is also a great writer (for historical fiction fans)! I read her Josephine trilogy, but haven't read her most recent one. I'm very picky about the adult fiction that I read, since I mostly read children's/YA. She's terrific!

  2. Thanks for the recommendation Jennifer...I'll look Gulland up as I haven't read her books.