The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
This book tells the story of Charles Lindbergh’s wife, and is part historical fiction and part coming of age. Much of it was pieced together from her journals, and made me feel really sorry for her. She was a woman in a man’s world, whose crazy husband was adored by that world for the majority of their marriage. I didn’t realize he was so eccentric, or that the Lindbergh baby was his baby. How did I miss that? Public school education, you have failed me.
Dear Life by Alice Munro
This was the first short story collection I read since college, and mostly served to solidify my love for the novel. Without an instructor leading a discussion or guiding my reading, I had a hard time staying focused and kept trying to connect all the stories together. The only thing the stories really had in common is that they were all sad and took place in small towns in Canada. Were they all sad because they took place in small town Canada?
Emma by Jane Austen
I may be the only English major that graduated without ever finishing a book by Jane Austen. Even though Pride and Prejudice is my favorite movie, I’ve never been able to finish the book. The language, the propriety I understand nothing about, the millions of characters to keep track of all forced me to put the book down at some point. I persevered with Emma, and watched the movie in ten minute increments until I’d finished both. It’s a pretty good love story if you don’t think about the massive age difference between the two main characters. I liked Clueless’ interpretation of it.
The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
The Bachelor meets the Royal Family meets a dystopian society that’s both futuristic and antiquated. You can’t help but like the main character, who’s the opposite of a damsel in distress. Think Katniss Everdeen in a dress. I could see this series being turned into a CW show. I would loyally watch it Wednesday nights at 9/8c.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
I was totally unaware of this portion of American History. For decades, orphaned children were sent to the Midwest in trains to find homes. What I gathered from this fictionalized account is that even though many of them found a place to live, the majority of them did not find the home they were looking for, but were seen as farmhands more than family. I was haunted for weeks.
Beautiful Creatures Series by Kami Garcia
Supernatural South meets the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. This book was a really easy read, and there were pictures in it, which is usually a good indicator that it is not meant for your age group. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s just had their wisdom teeth removed and is tired of watching TV. It should come with a warning label, though: 16 year old boys are not this sensitive!