Thursday, September 8, 2016


I tried this last year, but only managed about half of the books.  This year I was so excited to finish all 25 right before Labor Day!  My primary criteria was to purchase as few books as possible and I only bought one.  I borrowed a couple from my mother in law, a bunch from the library, and I had a few on my bookshelf.    This is such a neat challenge I hope someone will do something similar next year not that Books on the Night Stand is no longer podcasting.  Here are my books-I included a little bit about them without doing a full fledge recap of the stories.

Young Adult Novel The Paul Street Boys-Ferenc Molnar just okay-this book is a Hungarian translation written during the early 1900s.  It was supposedly critically acclaimed, but I think something was lost in the translation or the time period.

Epistolary Novel The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society-Mary Ann Shaffer really enjoyed this book-such a fun bunch of characters

A Play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof-Tennessee Williams I think I need to actually see this to appreciate it.  I’ve never read anything by Tennessee Williams so I’m glad to add him to my list of authors.

That You Can Finish in One Sitting/Day Sula-Toni Morrison an interesting story, I really didn’t like Sula at the end of the story.

By or about a Celebrity Shop Girl- Steve Martin very good a fun read-who knew Steve Martin was so versatile!

A Newbery or Caldecott Winner-A Gathering of Days-A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-32 Joan Bloss-this was written in the format of journal entries by a girl in 1800s Massachusetts.  I’m a sucker for anything that is historical.

By an author whose last name begins with X, Y, or Z I am Malala-Malal Yousafzai true story about life as a girl in Afghanistan. Makes me appreciate that I live in America.

With an Alliterative Title Love Letters Debbie Macomber- A typical Debbie Macomber novel with a happy ending.

Set during a War or Conflict All the Light That We Do Not See Anthony Doerr-loved this book-I was really hoping that some things would have turned out differently.

A Classic Mystery   Death in the Stocks-Georgette Heyer I think Agatha Christie is a much better author.  There was some dialogue that made the characters appear to be shallow and insipid.  Perhaps that is in keeping with the time period of the writing.  I might give this author another try as I’m a big fan of Dorothy Sayer and Agatha Christie maybe this one was a dud.

Told by a Child Narrator Lovely Bones-Alice Sebold Loved this-even though it is a sad story, I was captivated until the very end.  I wish the bad guy had been caught, but the icicle was pretty clever.

Set in Australia/Oceania Big Little Lies-Liane Morarity Liked this book better than The Husband’s Secret.  This was an audio book, and while it took me a bit to warm up to the sound of the narrator’s voice.  The narrator was one of the reasons why I didn’t like The Husband’s Secret it; however, she does a fantastic job of bringing the kids in this book to life.  I chuckled out loud lots of times.  I also think the overall plot of this book was better than The Husbands Secret

Free Square Tempting Fate-Jane Green another just okay, this book has a similar to plot Love Letters.  A much different ending from Love Letters which I didn’t find plausible.

About Art or An Artist The Painted Kiss-Elizabeth Hickey great book about an Austrian artist and some of his well-known paintings.  I plan to look into more books by this author.

Written by Two or More Authors Mycroft Holmes-Kareem ABudl-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse-this was another great book.  I have to say I kept visualizing Benedict Cumberbatch as Mycroft vs Sherlock.

That Spans Multiple Generations The Family Corleone-Edward Flaco and Mario Puzo this was pretty good.  Having been familiar with The Godfather, I sorta knew what was going to happen.  The alliances and loyalties were interesting to read.

Popular Psychology Girl Interrupted-Susanna Kaysen wow-I’m glad we know a lot more about mental health than we did back in the day.

Published the Year You Were Born A Small Town in Germany-John Le Carre-good spy book.  I’ve noticed a distinct writing style with books that were written 40+ year ago.  I really had to read this one to keep up with the players.

A Short Story Anthology Runaway-Alice Munro I’ve read Alice Munro before and I don’t quite get her short stories.

About an Epic Journey In the Heart of the Sea-Nathaniel Philbuck loved this, there were some grisly parts as it goes into detail about the whaling industry in the 18/19th century, but I learned a lot about the whale ship Essex.  I even looked up more details after I was finished.

Set in the Place Where you Live Peachtree Road-Anne River Siddons I loved reading about my hometown, the time line was a bit confusing because some of the landmarks mentioned were not in existence at the time of the character setting. 

Fiction set during a Plague In the Shadow of Blackbirds-Cat Winters this was pretty good and it was interesting to learn about the flu epidemic and some of the “cures”.

With a Day of the Week in the Title Tuesdays with Morrie-Mitch Albom-this was really good.  The character Morrie reminded me so much of PJ and the man he would have been.   This is a book I’d definitely re-read at some point.

 With a Number in the Title Station Eleven-Emily St. John Mandel-this was pretty good for a post-apocalyptic world plot.  I was afraid it would be too sci-fi-y, but it wasn’t I enjoyed reading how the survivors were able to rebuild the world.

By an Author Who Shares your First Name How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky Lydia Netzer this book was pretty hoakie, maybe it was just me.  Star crossed lovers, destiny, etc. or maybe the narrator’s voice just annoyed me.


  1. Great list and congratulations Lydia! And I think everyone (underlined) should read Tuesdays with Morrie. One of the best books ever written (IMHO!)

  2. *hands clapping!!!* what a great summer of reading!