If you like books about Asian culture, The Calligrapher's Daughter is a good one to read. Novels written about this part of the world are rarely favorites of mine, and this one was no exception. I enjoyed the story, but it is not one I would say you must read in 2011.
The Council of Dads for Christmas. Bruce Feiler finds out he has a large, cancerous tumor on his leg. Faced with the prospect of dying and leaving his wife and twin 3 yo daughters behind, he develops the council of dads, a group of men from various stages of his life that he tags with the job of being surrogate dads for his girls. Each one is meant to portray some characteristic of Bruce that he wants to pass on to his daughters. I enjoyed this book a lot. It was humorous, thought provoking and sweet.
When God Interrupts as a study. This is a great book for when God's plan doesn't match up with your plan. M. Craig Barnes unpacks how seemingly "bad" things can bring growth and lead us closer to God......to a better life than we thought possible.
Tom Davis on other blogs. The topic of human trafficking has become a hot button topic, and I was curious about this author who writes novels based on his own experience working with victims of these horrors. Priceless: A Novel on the Edge of the World was my introduction to Davis's writing. The writing is mediocre at best, but the story is gripping. I think I will read another of Davis's books, but this one didn't measure up to
Extraordinary Relationships: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions by Roberta Gilbert, MD. This is truly not your typical relationships book. It is based on the theories of Dr. Murray Bowen (1913-1990), and I don't think it is stretching to say this book is life changing. I didn't agree with everything in it, but it has certainly changed the way I think about myself, my motivations, my interactions, and how changing MYSELF changes and deepens my relationships with others. The Family Systems Theory, pioneered by Bowen, offers practical advice and shocking insight into how families shape who we are and how deepening our family relationships impacts our maturity and ability to relate to others in all spheres of life.
A Man for All Seasons was a book club selection. A morality play based on a standoff between King Henry VIII, and Sir Thomas More. Henry wants More's official approval of divorce, but More's strict ethical and religious code will not let him waffle. A quick read (it is a play after all), this was a nice change of pace in genre from my regular reading...and I even learned a little history in the process.
Grisham novel, Skipping Christmas has many modern parallels to the classic tale of Scrooge. It is light, quick, and enjoyable. Grisham's characters are exaggerated to make us think about our holiday traditions
I grabbed Stuart Little off our shelf for a quick read before getting a new stash from the library. What a delightful children's fantasy. I think Adeline may enjoy this in between Little House novels.