There's nothing I like better than getting a new edition of Bookmarks Magazine in the mail. I think this is the ONLY magazine that I read from cover-to-cover! There are several features that I love to read: letters from readers, Have You Read, Book Group Profile and then of course, all of the reviews of the new releases. As I was cruising through the pages I made note of several books that I want to read. Some of them I've already heard about from my lovely blogging friends, while others are new to me. Here are the ones that caught my attention:A Friend of the Family
- Lauren Grodstein
** From reading the synopsis this one sounds like it could be sinister....I like that!Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
- Barbara Demick
**As a person who really doesn't know much about North Korea this book has many interesting aspects that have drawn me to it. Her information comes from defectors of this country.Blacklands
- Belinda Bauer
** Diane's review
from Bibliophile By the Sea
sold me on this one! Plus it has that creepy vibe to it!!House Rules
- Jodie Picoult
** I already have this book on request with my library. All I have to say is that this one better knock my socks off or else I'm going to have to rethink my decision to read any future books by Picoult.Too Much Happiness
- Alice Munro
** This is a collection of 10 short stories and they deal with individuals in the aftermath of violence, tragedy, and heartbreak. I've never read Munro so this seems like a good place to start.Becoming Jane Eyre
- Sheila Kohler
** I'm slightly obsessed with Charlotte Bronte right now, due to The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte. I'm hoping that this one is original and will keep me interested!Remarkable Creatures
- Tracey Chevalier
I've loved most of her books with the exception of Burning Bright. That one I truly hated!! But I've read great blogging reviews of this one so I'm looking forward to reading it one day.Where the God of Love Hangs Out
- Amy Bloom
** Another collection of short stories, these are divided into 2 sets of four linked stories and four standalone. The last sentence in the review of this book caught me, "Each story is a small tribute to human nature at its best and worst."
Now to the interesting pick for Best Books of 2009. Bookmarks states this: In which we hope to mitigate the arbitrary nature of year-end "best books" lists by bringing the results together into one big arbitrary list.
As I was browsing through the list my eyes stopped when I read "The Believers by Zoe Heller. I just read/reviewed
this book a few weeks ago and really didn't enjoy it. I found almost all of the characters despicable and disgusting. Every single BOOK BLOGGER felt pretty much the same way. But according to SF Chronicles, The New Yorker, and NPR, we bloggers are stupid because this book was so good that it must be on a list of Best Books of 2009. Thanks anyway, SF, New Yorker, and NPR....I'll go with my gut feeling and the "arbitrary" thoughts of my fellow readers....this book was atrocious and there was really no redeeming value to be found.