Monday, January 26, 2015

Musing Mondays - January 26

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme sponsored by MizB of Should Be Reading that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:


  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Give a list of 4 books you read last year that you’d recommend to others — and why.

As soon as I saw this prompt, I immediately knew the one title that would top this list.



Just when you think every book has been written that has a Laura Ingalls Wilder connection, you come across something so unique and fascinating that it begs your attention. Pioneer Girl tells the story of Lee Lein, who finds herself jobless after obtaining her PhD in American literature. She heads home to a Chicago suburb to work in her mother and grandfather's cafe. The tense relationship with her mother only worsens, and then her brother disappears without a trace, leaving behind a gold brooch from her mother's past in Vietnam that was left behind by an American reporter who visited her grandfather's original cafe in 1965. Based upon a passage from the Little House books, Lee is convinced the reporter was Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Does this pin connect her family to one of America's famous pioneering legacies? 

There is so much to this novel, I simply can't state it here and keep the post at a reasonable length. You can read my full review here.


Another amazing novel I read in 2014 is The Secret Side of Empty by Marie E. Andreu. A straight-A student on her way to becoming valedictorian, M.T. watches while her friends get their driver’s licenses and make college plans. As an undocumented immigrant, M.T. lives in constant fear of being found out, while coping with her domineering, paranoid father who believes her education is a waste of time.

This book puts a face to the highly politicized topic of illegal immigration. It is a gripping, emotional story of a young woman’s journey to belong and be free to pursue her dreams. You can read my review here.


A surprising book choice also makes my list: A Comedy of Erinn by Celia Bonaduce. I don't read a ton of romantic comedy, so it's nice to really enjoy one when I pick it up. Erinn Wolf is a once celebrated playwright turned photographer working to reinvent herself. She accepts a job producing a reality television show, but quickly clashes with Jude, the young, brash director. She sets her romantic prospects on the classy Italian guy renting her guesthouse. But neither man is quite what he first seems. You can check out my review here.


My final choice is also not one of my usual reads. The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick tells the story of Bryan Dennison, a self-centered bully and superjock who wakes up one morning as a totally different person. He also finds himself attracted to his former bullying victim, Scott Beckett. As Bryan struggles to remember who he used to be, he also needs to find out what caused the change. This is an intriguing story. You can read my review here.

What is a book you read last year that you would recommend?


9 comments:

Verushka Byrow said...

The Red Sheet is sounds wonderful, thank you for sharing! Here's mine http://editingeverything.com/weekly-events/musing-mondays-4/

Holly Kerr said...

Thanks for reminding me I have to read Pioneer Girl!!! Here's my link
http://hollykerr.ca/monday-musings-4-books-recommend/

Cleo Bannister said...

Loving your recommendations and as a huge fan of Little House... I do need to read Pioneer Girl. Thanks for visiting my MM https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/musing-mondays-january-26/

nashvillebookworm said...

I will admit that your recommendations have not come up on my radar before. But there were a couple that looked interesting.

Will I get funny looks at the library if I check them out? ;)

JC Jones said...

I enjoyed seeing your four books. All were new to me.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

The Secret Side of Empty seems to be calling to me...thanks for sharing.

Here is my MUSINGS POST

Breana M. said...

The Pioneer Girl seems like a nice story. I've seen it around, but I've yet to check it out. :D

storytreasury said...

Pioneer Girl uses the little house books? That's actually pretty interesting.

malvikajaswal said...

All these books sound really good and very different to the stuff I usually read. Time to widen the horizons :)