Saturday, November 1, 2014

Late Nights with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I've been enjoying a mostly bookish tweet stream for at least five years now, but somehow did not know about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries until just a few months ago.  Had no idea, but WOW, talk about the most pleasant find ever.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (henceforth referred to as "LBD") reimagines Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (henceforth "P&P") through a mid-twenties vlogger named Lizzie Bennet.  I loved the modernization and adaptation of my all-time favorite novel.  The shows' creators account for contemporary life, social media, feminism, technology, etc. with great energy, creativity, and a real sense of fun.  These diaries feel true to the spirit of Austen's novel and her characters, but are not wed to each plot point in a plodding or forced way.  So enjoyable, so satisfying.

I especially loved how LBD portrays Lydia Bennet in a more forgiving, hopeful way.  The casting was spot on for each character, actually.  I did not spend a lot of time studying the cast photo above and I don't recommend you do either.  That way, you can savor the anticipation and be really quite thrilled when you finally meet Darcy in these videos.  There have been many hot Darcys in the past two decades and this one ranks right up there (though I am admittedly lukewarm on a couple of his outfits in these episodes). 

I watched these videos on my ipad via the Pemberley Digital website.  That method allows you to also see the "tweets" sent by the characters as part of the story.  And, it's free.  I think you can buy the DVD, which I just might do for the pleasure of sitting down to watch and enjoy without having to wait for streaming and scroll and click for the next episode.  If you have a little time and a decent internet connection though, just get started!  LBD episodes are usually in the 2-6 minute range, but warning:  as you get into the story and catch the feel of the adaptation, good luck limiting yourself to a couple episodes as a time.  I was up past midnight two nights this week watching "just one more" episode.  I watched the last five earlier this evening and could not stop smiling.

To quote their site bio, Pemberley Digital is "an innovative web video production company that specializes in the adaptation of classic works onto the new media format."  I look forward to trying some of their other Austen interpretations:  Emma Approved and Welcome to Sanditon.

Have you watched LBD or any of the other Pemberley Digital offerings?  Recs for another viewing addiction?  Lead me in a good direction please! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

This Week's Book Buffet -- July 7th(ish)

Sadly, I am not stretched out on a chaise, sipping a mojito, feeling a slight breeze, and losing myself in my book.  I am not even spending much time reading on a quite comfortable chair on my side porch with a cold can of DC.  And yet, I do feel like I have more time to read this summer.  As my kids recover indoors after a full morning of outdoor activity, I have longish stretches of time to piddle around the house trying to create order and clean laundry while listening to an audiobook.  I tote a book book around town and steal moments while my peeps are occupied with tennis lessons or a library class.  I have my ebook ready on my phone as I lie next to whomever needs a little company to settle into sleep.

Here's what's on this week's book buffet:

Ebook:  I am finally reading Ann Patchett's Truth and Beauty.  I have always avoided this book--the story of Patchett's friendship with the late Lucy Grealy--because I imagined it would be depressing.  Patchett's This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage includes an essay about Truth and Beauty being protested by some vocal members of the Clemson community after the book was chosen as the reading selection for incoming freshman.  I then vowed to read it.  I adore Patchett's writing as much as ever and am intrigued by this memoir of two remarkable women writers and their friendship.  Now, I'm going to have to read Grealy's Autobiography of a Face too.

Audiobook:  I'm savoring each syllable of Jojo Moyes's The One Plus One -- long-awaited by me and many others who adored Me Before You.  This story of a road trip, an unlikely connection, and a mother doing the best she can is right in my sweet spot.  Plus, audiobooks narrated by Brits are always my cup of tea.

Book Book:  I was so taken with Stewart O'Nan's 2007 novel Last Night at the Lobster and was thrilled to find The Odds:  A Love Story in the book sale my room of my library as it has been on my TBR list for a while now.  I'm a little more than a third of the way through this slim novel, but feeling like his portrait of the final weekend of a long and imperfect (as are most in varying degrees) marriage is perfectly rendered.  He is very attuned to the details, the gestures and exchanges of relationships.  Plus, who isn't intrigued by this plot:  a couple in debt and on the verge of divorce deciding to take a bus to Niagara Falls and gamble all they have left?

On Deck:  Two of the books on my library list became available today.  I imagine I will like Emma Straub's The Vacationers as much as many others have.  George Saunders' Congratulations, by the way  (a published graduation speech) has won me with the blurb on the back:  "Here's something I know to be true, although it's a little corny, and I don't know quite what to do with it:  What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness."

Buzz at the Pool:  One of the things I love about summer is how people are so interested in talking books and trading recommendations!  Jennifer Weiner's All Fall Down is gaining traction among swim team moms.  I read it quickly and think most moms would be easily engrossed in this tale of a mom who goes to extremes to manage her life's stresses.  I also adored Elin Hilderbrand's The Matchmaker, as have several friends.  Three readers I trust have recommended Jane Green's Tempting Fate.  I've never quite forgiven Green for Jemima J and tend to avoid her books, but maybe I will check it out.

Snackshot Snapshot:  My Jewel has just started stocking Friendly's ice cream products.  The ice cream is good (though, of course, does not compare to the premium Graeter's which my grocery also sells) but, more importantly, Friendly's ice cream takes me back to childhood when a meal or dessert at Friendly's was a very special treat.  It also reminds me of the summer before I started high school when I waitressed at a Friendly's.  Not my favorite job ever, but I'm proud that I did it well.  I still remember gleefully counting my tip money at the end of a shift and ordering Friendly's quesadillas (then an exotic new menu item) to eat during break.

Enough about me now.  What are you reading?  What are you eating?  How's your summer?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Books Before Bed

Getting three kids to sleep can take a while (sometimes 90 minutes when I am doing it solo), especially because I am kind of a softie when it comes to pleas of "one more book" or "one more chapter."  Without boring you with the details of our household's various bedtime rituals, I wanted to share the bedtime books being enjoyed in each child's bedroom this week.

The ritual begins with my lovely daughter, on the cusp of turning four.  Earlier this winter, she was obsessed with Bridget's Beret, an adorable children's book by Tom Lichtenheld -- this story of a young artist captured the heart of my little artist.  Last week, she punished me with repeated requests for Angelina Ballerina The Shining Star Trophy.  This week, we brought our two Little Critter anthologies up to her room.  We're both enjoying revisiting these old favorites.  Mercer Mayer's beautiful and clever illustrations, his sense of humor, and his candid but ultimately positive depiction of childhood appeals to little critters and their parents.

Tip:  Collections that include multiple children's books inside one cover make great gifts and make it easier to decide on "just one more" book at bedtime.

My middle guy, age five, is supposed to read me a couple of stories as one part of his bedtime routine.  We try to read from the Superkids stories that are part of his school's reading program.  I love Superkids, but he is not always feeling it (to say the least) so we are trying to move his reading practice time to earlier in the day.  I got out of the habit of reading chapter books to him at bedtime because I'd had a little too much Junie B. (which had been his choice for a while -- I am not anti-Junie B., mind you, just was needing a break).  When my oldest was in kindergarten, I read him all of the Beverly Clearly books that featured Henry Huggins, Ramona, and Beezus.
We're reading my copy from the 80s!

So, my middle guy and I are halfway through Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary.  I cannot say enough good things about this book for little boys.  The book was originally published in 1950 (the same year my parents were born), and there are (enjoyable) lessons to be learned from childhood in an earlier era. Can Henry have a dog?  Sure, but he has to take complete responsibility for Ribsy and use his own money for his license, flea collar, food, and dog bowl.  (Side note:  Henry also walks to the butcher on his own to buy horse meat for Ribsy).  Can Henry care for thousands of guppies in his bedroom?  Sure, but he'll learn about research and responsibility as he does it.  How about when Henry is tossing football with his neighbor Scooter and accidentally throws Scooter's football inside a passing car?  The football is gone.  Scooter wants a replacement.  It costs almost $14 (which must have been a fortune in 1950).  I can see my 2014 self saying to my son, "It's okay, it's only $14.  We can replace it.  Don't stress about it."  And by "we," I would mean "me."  Henry does not go straight to his parents with this issue.  He takes stock of his funds and brainstorms how he will pay for a new football.   When his neighbor gives him a chance to dig night crawlers for fishing bait and agrees to pay him ONE CENT per worm, Henry literally digs in and finds enough worms to buy the new football.  When he is still digging worms past dark, his parents join him at the public park (where he's been alone with his dog Ribsy -- different era) and help him finish the job.  They help him help himself.  Lessons here for my son and for me!  
 I will be forever charmed by Louis Darling's illustration of Mrs. Huggins,
the proper 1950's housewife, digging for night crawlers!

Last stop on the bedtime express is my oldest, eight years old and a READER!  As he waits for me to make my way to his room, he reads.  When I arrive, he tells me about what he has read and sometimes I give him a little more reading time as I read my own book on my phone.  He received a Roald Dahl box set for Christmas and just inhaled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Along with Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy, which we read together last year, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of my most beloved childhood books that I never owned.  I regularly checked it out of our little school library.  What a joy to see him enjoy this book!  Plus, I finally have an appreciative audience for my Veruca Salt impression.  The Gene Wilder version of the movie, 40th anniversary edition, is on sale at Target for four bucks this week.  We are looking forward to a movie night this weekend.

Our days are busy, our house is messy, and there is always plenty I need and want to do downstairs, but I never regret time spent with my kids on books before bed.  

What are the current and/or all-time favorite books before bed in your house?  Please share!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Library Ebooks -- Oh My!

I'm not that interested in the ebook versus print debate.  I love the ability to read an ebook on my phone, ipad, or Kindle, but I also LOVE books as objects.  I will continue to read, collect, and buy book books.  If physical books were to disappear, I would be devastated, but I'm now at the point where I would miss ebooks as well (not that they are going anywhere).  I hope the view that more ways for people to read equals more readers/more reading in the world is not too naive.

When I first purchased a Kindle (foolishly, many years ago when one cost about 4x what it does now), I was delighted by the promise that most bestsellers would be available for $9.99 or less.  Many years later, the savvy ebook reader with the Kindle, Nook, and Kobo apps on her phone and/or tablet can check daily deals on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo to find fantastic ebooks available for a limited time (usually one day or one month) for two or three dollars.  This bargain ebook search is part of my morning routine.

Such discounts are great and do introduce readers to new books and authors.  It's easy to gamble on an unknown or barely known quantity for $1.99.  I admit though that I have now one-clicked my way into more $2 ebooks than I currently have interest in and time for reading.  In fact, buying discounted ebooks is the new version of my old habit of buying hardbacks in the Barnes and Noble Bargain Book aisles.  Unfortunately, I did the bulk of my bargain book buying in the years when I was moving apartments every one or two years.  Nothing like moving box after box of heavy books that you haven't read but thought you might because they were only $5.99.

Though I've always been willing to spend money on books, I have also been a frequent user of the public library.  When I lived in Chicago before the age of the ipod, I regularly scoured five different branches of the Chicago Public Library to find audiobooks on tape and CD to check out.  While there, I made a habit of checking the "new books" shelf and was often pleasantly surprised to find at least one recent release that I would have paid for but could now borrow.  The ability to order and hold books at public libraries makes it even easier to read desired books, especially if you possess patience.

I now have access to one of the most wonderful suburban public libraries imaginable:  The Elmhurst Public Library.  I've known for a couple of years that ebooks and digital audiobooks were available through the EPL, but sort of figured that it would be a technological challenge to download them and that the ebooks available would mostly be public domain titles that I can easily access elsewhere.  WRONG.  It took about five minutes on the library's website to read the tutorial and get started checking out ebooks.  If you want a more recent release, you will have to place a hold and wait until it is your turn, which can take a while.  Unless you are a great advance planner or get lucky, library ebooks are probably not the best choice for book club selections or required school reading.  I personally don't mind the wait.  I like knowing a good book will be coming to me sometime soon(ish) and it's sort of a happy surprise to get the email saying that your ebook title is available.  Life's little pleasures, etc.

I have also been downloading children's titles to my eight year-old's ereader.  The chapter books he reads now can sometimes be finished in a matter of a couple hours so it's fantastic to be able to refuel him at no cost when he is in a voracious reading stage!  My library has a limit of 5 ebooks out on a particular account at one time and there is also a hold limit (not sure what it is, only that I have reached it).  When you finish a book, you can return it digitally.  If you forget, it disappears from your device when your time is up.  Easy peasy.

My first library ebook?  Delia Ephron's Sister Mother Husband Dog: Etc.  My current library ebook?  Thanks to rave reviews on Goodreads from a grade school friend, I just started Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas.  In the hold queue for?  Want Not by Jonathan Miles, Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill, and This One is Mine by Maria Semple.  Fingers crossed that they don't all become available at the same time.

Next adventure?  Investigate digital audiobooks through the library.  I can't imagine that I would give up my Audible subscription, but I'd like to be able to supplement as two audiobooks per month are often not enough.

Anyone else test drive the digital content available at your local public library?

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 Reading Highlights

Presenting, in the approximate order in which they were read, My Favorite Books of 2013 ...

I apologize that I was too lazy to add any images and that some of these reviews are sketchy and/or generic.

The Good House by Ann Leary -- Leary slowly and masterfully unfolds the story of Hildy Good and her drinking problem.  Hildy is a flawed but lovable character (I found myself hoping her daughters would not find her empties, even as I knew someone needed to) who always wants "more, more, more."  At the end of this fantastic book, I still wanted more, more, more of Hildy.  Very memorable character.  Mary Beth Hurt's narration in the audio version is perfect.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes -- I won a copy of Me Before You in a giveaway hosted by Eleanor Brown (author of The Wierd Sisters, a great 2011 read) on her Facebook page.  Three book clubs with which I have ties have selected this book:  a story of friendship, love, and the biggest question of all:   what makes life worth living?  I read this book in one huge gulp and cried my eyes out at the end.  Read it.

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight -- This book was being touted as the new Gone Girl.  I buy that insofar as this book is a page turner that keeps you guessing, but the mother-daughter love at the heart of this mystery distinguishes it from Gone Girl.  No one sane wants to relive their teenage years.  This novel forces you to consider what it's like to live them in today's age of social media, texting, etc. -- NO!!!!

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro -- Almost everything I learned about painting, I learned from the "Picture Lady" moms in grade school and from the two Fine Arts presentations I have given at my kids' school.  This novel offered insight into the art world (including the dark aspects -- forgery, obsessive collecting, theft).  I learned a lot and enjoyed the book a great deal.  I have been meaning to hit the Art Institute ever since.

Joyland by Stephen King -- I always put Stephen King books in the category of "authors/books that are not for me" because titles like Pet Sematary just did not sound like my kind of thing.  Then, I started reading his columns in EW and got myself a little crush on him.  I listened to 11.22.63 --a time travel narrative and love story surrounding Kennedy's assassination--and could not believe how much I loved it and how firmly I felt that I was safe in the hands of a master.  Joyland is a less sweeping sort of book.  A coming-of-age tale and the sweetest hard crime novel you'll ever read.  You heard me right.

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith -- You've (probably) heard all the buzz about this book and its famous author.  I enjoyed it thoroughly, especially the interaction between Cormoran Strike and his assistant.  I look forward to the next one!

Amy Falls Down by Jincy Willett -- Willett is so darkly, perfectly funny and won my heart with Amy Falls Down (and its predecessor which I recommend reading first: The Writing Class) and its protagonist novelist/writing teacher.  Hilarious, satirical look at the publishing industry to boot.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell -- This book includes a pseudo-seduction scene that involves S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders?  Need I say more?  A total YA winner.  The book I wish I could hand to the teenage girls I saw reading Fifty Shades while working at the pool concession stand the past two summers.  Sweetness and heft.  Levi and Cath forever!

Longbourn by Jo Baker -- I wrote about this book in a previous post, and I am going to go ahead and cut and paste what I said:  This book tells the story of the servants of Longbourn, the Bennet estate in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, with their stories told to fit within the existing timeline and geography of the novel.  I read Pride and Prejudice once a year and love it with everything I've got.  Baker's Longbourn feels like a supplement to or extension of the novel, a gift offered by someone who knows and loves these characters as much as I and so many others do.  Beautifully written.  It will break and lift and fill your heart.  If it doesn't, you don't have a heart (I don't think I am joking here).  Ties for very favorite book of 2013.

Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding -- Bridget Jones's Diary was the book of my twenties (even though I was not necessarily was drinking, smoking, having sex in manner of Miss Jones, I loved and connected with Bridget the singleton).  I spent most of my thirties not even daring to hope that a third installment would ever come.  What a gift.  I laughed.  I cried real tears.  I want to read it again.  I'd want to read about Bridget in assisted living.  My other very favorite book of 2013.  England wins.

Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?:  A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems by Rhoda Janzen -- I'm not a Mennonite (as Janzen once was -- recounted in Mennonite in a Little Black Dress) or a Pentecostal (as she becomes).  I am a fan of the way Janzen writes about faith.  Looks like this book has been retitled Mennonite Meets Mr. Right.  I hope it finds the audience it deserves.

Elsewhere: A Memoir by Richard Russo -- It is rare for me to reread a novel, but I have read Russo's Empire Falls, Nobody's Fool, and Straight Man two times each.  Huge, huge fan.  I'd read his grocery list, but this story about his relationship with his mom is (presumably) even better.

After Visiting Friends:  A Son's Story by Michael Hainey -- Very well-written story of Hainey researching the true story of what happened the night his father died.  Loved the Chicago setting of this memoir.

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy -- Okay, fine, A Week in Winter was not one of my favorite books of 2013 (though I liked it) and not my favorite Maeve Binchy book ever (those are Scarlet Feather and The Glass Lake), but I wanted to mark Binchy's passing and honor the many happy hours I have spent in Ireland, thanks to her lovely, cozy, comforting books.  I can't believe there won't be another.

Honorable Mention Reading Experiences of 2013 ... I don't have the juice to write about the titles below, but I enjoyed them!

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Return to Oakpine by Ron Carlson

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

Blue Plate Special:  An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen

Favorite Books Read But Not Published in 2013 ...

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett -- begins with darkest news in coldest Minnesota and

Juliet in August by Dianne Warren -- quiet, lovely interconnected stories set in small Canadian town.

News from Heaven by Jennifer Haigh -- these stories form a sort of sequel to Haigh's Baker Towers and the fictional world of the coal-mining town of Bakerton, Pennsylvania.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell -- am stealing a line from a dear friend and book lover who said of this book's high school protagonists, "I really felt their love."  This book made me less inclined to be dismissive of high school relationships.  I felt their love, loved them both, and won't be satisfied until Rainbow Rowell writes a sequel.

The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes -- cannot resist a novel featuring a Walsh Sister.  These sisters are funny but their struggles are real.  Wit and substance.

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg -- did not completely love this novel, but dang if I am not still thinking about a masterful description of its heroine eating a McRib sandwich and of tweenage twins peforming a choreographed dance to "I Gotta Feeling" at their joint Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Heft by Liz Moore -- heartbreaking but hopeful

Call the Midwife:  A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth -- have not yet seen the PBS series, but many of Worth's tales of midwifery in London's East End are still vivid in my mind months after finishing this book.  The audio version is excellent.

What were your favorite reads of the past year?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Year of Books

Okay, I'm closing the book on 2013 and publishing the list of all the books I finished this year.  I'm hoping to write a "best of 2013" post while 2014 is still young, but we'll see about that.

August Folly by Angela Thirkell
(audiobook, narrated by Wanda McCaddon)

Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
(audiobook, narrated by Hope Davis)

The Brandons by Angela Thirkell
(audiobook, narrated by Nadia May)

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
(audiobook, narrated by Holter Graham)

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty
(library book)

The Good House by Ann Leary
(audiobook, narrated by Mary Beth Hurt)

Truth in Advertising by John Kenney
(audiobook, narrated by Robert Petkoff)

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
(paperback, advance reader copy won in a giveaway!!)

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

Outtakes from a Marriage by Ann Leary
(library book)

Love Is a Canoe by Ben Schrank
(library book)

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
(audiobook, narrated by Caroline Lee)

Parlor Games by Maryka Biaggio
(audiobook, narrated by Leslie Carroll)

Juliet in August by Dianne Warren
(audiobook, narrated by Cassandra Campbell)

Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
(audiobook, narrated by Catherine Taber)

Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer
(library book)

News from Heaven by Jennifer Haigh
(audiobook, narrated by Therese Plummer, Alexander Cendese, Cynthia Darlow, Christian Baskous)

The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne
(library book)

Provincial Daughter by R.M. Dashwood

The Wife by Meg Wolitzer

When It Happens to You:  A Novel in Stories by Molly Ringwald

Beach Colors by Shelley Noble

Skinny:  A Novel by Diana Spechler

The Smart One by Jennifer Close
(library book)

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
(audiobook, narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra)

The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore
(audiobook, narrated by Adenrele Ojo and Pamella D'Pella)

The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding
(library book)

The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes
(audiobook, narrated by Caroline Lennon)

Trust Me on This by Jennifer Crusie
(audiobook, narrated by Angela Dawe)

Good Kids by Benjamin Nugent
(library book)

Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer
(audiobook, narrated by Barbara Leigh-Hunt)

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
(audiobook, narrated by Ruth Ozeki)

The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen

The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam
(audiobook, narrated by Graeme Malcolm)

The View from Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman
(library book)

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

All You Could Ask For by Mike Greenberg

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
(audiobook, narrated by Kathleen McInerney)  

Tempest-tost:  The Salterton Trilogy, Book 1 by Robertson Davies
(audiobook, narrated by Frederick Davidson)

Woke Up Lonely by Fiona Maazel
(audiobook, narrated by Bernadette Dunne)

Unnatural Habits by Kerry Greenwood
(audiobook, narrated by Stephanie Daniel)

The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
(audiobook, narrated by Amy Rubinate)

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand
(audiobook, narrated by Therese Plummer)

The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro
(audiobook, narrated by XE Sands)

These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen
(ebook, read on phone)

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Joyland by Stephen King

The Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam

The Cuckoo's Calling by Roberth Galbraith
(audiobook, narrated by Robert Glenister)

Drinking Closer to Home by Jessica Anya Blau
(ebook, read on phone)

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
(audiobook, narrated by Lynn Chen)

& Sons by David Gilbert
(audiobook, narrated by George Newbern)

Less Than Angels by Barbara Pym
(ebook, read on phone)

Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews
(ebooks, narrated by Kathleen McInerney, CDs downloaded to ipod)

Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen by Alix Kates Shulman
(ebook, read on phone)

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
(audiobook, narrated by Rebecca Lowman, listened to on Playaway from library)

Instructions for a Heat Wave by Maggie O'Farrell
(library book)

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons
(audiobook, narrated by James Adams)

The Writing Class by Jincy Willett

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
(audiobook, narrated by Alice Rosengard)

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
(library book)

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Mason
(audiobook, narrated by Suzy Jackson)

Amy Falls Down: A Novel by Jincy Willett
(library book)

The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
(audiobook, narrated by Steven Boyer)

Going Away Shoes by Jill McCorkle

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman
(library book)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
(audiobook, narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Maxwell Caulfield)

Pride and Prejudice* by Jane Austen
(audiobook, narrated by Flo Gibson)

The Hive by Gill Hornby
(audiobook, narrated by Karen Cass)

Transatlantic by Colum McCann
(audiobook, narrated by Geraldine Hughes)

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
(audiobook, narrated by Emily Janice Card)

The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
(library book)

Longbourn by Jo Baker

Flanagan's Run by Tom McNab
(audiobook, narrated by Rupert Degas)

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Circle by Dave Eggers
(audiobook, narrated by Dion Graham)

Stay Close by Harlan Coben
(audiobook, narrated by Scott Brick)

Return to Oakpine by Ron Carlson
(audiobook, narrated by David Aaron Baker)  

Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
(audiobook, narrated by Katherine Kellgren)

A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer
(library book)

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
(audiobook, narrated by Fannie Flagg)

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro

The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen
(audiobook, narrated by Katherine Kellgren)

The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood
(audiobook, narrated by Tavia Gilbert)

Heft by Liz Moore
(audiobook, narrated by Kirby Heyborne & Keith Szarabajka)

Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews

Stay by Allie Larkin
(audiobook, narrated by Julia Whelan)

The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro

The Commitment by Dan Savage
(audiobook, narrated by Paul Michael Garcia)

The Dinner Diaries:  Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread World by Betsy Block

Below Stairs:  The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" by Margaret Powell
(library book)

Servants' Hall: A Real Life Upstairs, Downstairs Romance by Margaret Powell
(library book)

Wheat Belly by William Davis
(audiobook, narrated by Tom Weiner)

Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?: A Mennonite Finds Faith, Meets Mr. Right, and Solves Her Lady Problems by Rhoda Janzen
(library book)

You Must Go and Win by Alina Simone
(audiobook, narrated by Alina Simone)

Elsewhere: A Memoir by Richard Russo

Give Me Everything You Have:  On Being Stalked by James Lasdun
(library book)

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam
(audiobook, narrated by Laura Vanderkam)

I Can't Complain:  (All Too) Personal Essays by Elinor Lipman
(library book)

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls:  Essays, Etc. by David Sedaris
(library book)

My Misspent Youth:  Essays by Meghan Daum
(ebook, Readmill app on iphone)

She Matters:  A Life in Friendships by Susan Sonnenberg

Blue Plate Special:  An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen

After Visiting Friends:  A Son's Story by Michael Hainey

Call the Midwife:  A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth
(audiobook, narrated by Nicola Barber)

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
(library book)

"You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth" and Other Things You'll Only Hear from Your Friends in the Powder Room by Leslie Marinelli (and many other female bloggers)

Seriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
(audiobook, narrated by the author)

Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin: A Memoir by Nicole Hardy
(library book)

Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son by Martin Sheen & Emilio Estevez
(audiobook, narrated by the authors)

The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime that Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars by Paul Collins
(audiobook, narrated by William Dufris)

You're Not Pretty Enough by Jennifer Tress

* indicates a re-read.