Books I’d Like to Read Again

by on April 22nd, 2012
Books I’d Like to Read Again Cover Image

Last week I had the honor of being the speaker at the lunch program of the Iowa Association of School Librarians 2012 Conference. Traditionally they invite librarians to do booktalks, and this year I had fun picking out my favorite books from the past couple of years to recommend. My topic was “Recent Favorites and Books I’d Like to Read Again.”

Not only did I get to speak to about 175 teacher-librarians, but two of my favorite librarians were in the audience. Mary Jo Langhorne was my teacher-librarian when I was in junior high (Northwest Junior High in Coralville) and Denise Rehmke was my teacher-librarian when I was a student at Iowa City’s West High School. They were role models for me and epitomized the difference caring adults can make in the lives of students. I never told them, but they were influential to me and, when I considered a career in librarianship, their positive influence helped me realize that being a librarian was a career I would enjoy.

Many thanks to Mary Jo and Denise and all the wonderful teacher-librarians who make a difference every day in the lives of our students in Iowa!!

I’ve had a couple people ask if I would share my list, so the books are below.   Each book is highly recommended and, if I had time, I’d read them again.  ~~Enjoy~~

Box, C.J. Force of Nature Pickett Series & Stand-alones 2012 Game Warden Joe Pickett’s friend, Nate Romanowski, knows a secret about a governmental official. That official plans to kill Nate to keep him quiet, and is targeting the entire Pickett family to get to Nate. Will Nate’s actions justify the outcome? Can Nate survive and save his friends? All C.J. Box books recommended including Pickett series and stand-alones. Mystery
Bradley, Alan I am Half-Sick of Shadows Flavia de Luce Series 2011 Step aside Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy, eleven year old Flavia de Luce is on the case! It’s 1950 and Flavia is living in an old English estate with her family. Watch for more Flavia mysteries including The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and A Red Herring Without Mustard. Mystery
Clayton, Meg Waite Wednesday Sisters 2009 A group of women learn about life, love, friendship and loyalty in a “coming of age” novel set against a backdrop of the 1960s, Women’s Movement, and Vietnam War protests. Fiction
Dallas, Sandra The Bride’s House  2011 Sandra Dallas’ new book follows three generations of women who live in The Bride’s House in Georgetown Colorado.  Dallas’ books are known for good character development and strong sense of place.  Fiction
Dean, Debra Madonnas of Leningrad 2007 A story that develops on two levels: A family coming to terms with Alzheimer’s and the story of Marina who creates a “memory palace” to escape the terror of Leningrad in 1941. Historical Fiction
Diffenbaugh, Vanessa Language of Flowers 2011 A beautiful coming of age debut novel weaving the past and present life of Victoria Jones beginning when Victoria is emancipated from foster care. Alternating chapters reveal Victoria’s past and present life. Fiction
Evanovich, Janet Explosive Eighteen 2011 What happened in Hawaii? Stephanie Plum’s dream vacation didn’t turn out as planned. Trouble is waiting for her at home as well. Count on Evanovich for laughs, quirky characters, and exploding cars. Mystery
Fortier, Anne Juliet 2011 Julie is heartbroken when her Aunt dies and crushed when her estate goes to Julie’s twin sister, Janice … except for a key to a mysterious lock box in Sienna, Italy and a cryptic story about family treasures. Fiction
Glass, Julia The Widower’s Tale 2010 Enjoying an active but lonely rural life, seventy-year-old Percy allows a preschool to move into his barn and transform his quiet home into a lively, youthful community.  All Julia Glass books are recommended.  Fiction
Green, Jane Promises to Keep 2010 Green’s books focus on families, friendship, and discovering the life you want to live. Other recommended Jane Green books include Dune Road and The Beach House. Fiction
Hillenbrand, Laura Unbroken 2010 Olympic runner Louis Zamperini enlisted in the US Army Air Forces in 1941. When the plane he was assigned to crashes into the South Pacific. Louis survives the crash and 47 days at sea in a plastic life raft. Nonfiction
Mason, Bobbie Ann The Girl in the Blue Beret 2011 Told in the present and past. A WWII fighter pilot shot down over Belgium is saved by the French Resistance. Fifty years later, after his retirement, he returns to Paris to find the people who cared for him. Historical Fiction
McClain, Paula The Paris Wife 2011 The fictional story of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson. After a whirlwind courtship the couple marries and moves to Paris so Ernest can pursue his writing career.  Historical Fiction
Orringer, Julie Invisible Bridge 2010 Andras and Tibor Levy are Jewish brothers in Hungary in 1937.  The reader knows history and horror of war, and yet Orringer weaves spirit, friendship, hope, family ties, and love into an unforgettable story. Historical Fiction
Russell, Mary Doria Dreamers of the Day 2008 Midwesterner, schoolteacher, influenza epidemic survivor, and world traveler, Agnes Shanklin, witnesses the 1921 Cairo Peace Conference where world leaders make a plan to divide the Middle East into the countries of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan. Historical Fiction
See, Lisa Shanghai Girls & Dreams of Joy 2009 & 2011 Wonderful characters and a strong sense of place. Stories are fast-paced and individual stories are woven together so the reader cares about the main characters, their feelings, and what happens.  I listened to both books and the narration is excellent.  Highly recommended! Historical Fiction
Taylor, Patrick Dublin Student DoctorIrish Country Series2011 The fictional Irish town of Ballybucklebo comes alive, starting with An Irish Country Doctor. The main character is a mix of James Herriot and Marcus Welby, MD. All books are recommended.  If you are looking for a vicarious escape, I’d recommend picking up one of the books in the series. Fiction
Tyler, Anne Noah’s Compass 2010 61-year-old Liam Pennywell is forced to retire from his job teaching fifth graders.  On the first day of retirement he wakes up in a hospital after an assault and sets out to rediscover his life. Fiction
Vreeland, Susan Clara and Mr. Tiffany 2011 Fictionalized story of Clara Driscoll who worked with Louis Comfort Tiffany at his New York studio and possibly the person who conceived the idea for the iconic Tiffany stained glass lamps.  Historical Fiction.
Winerip, Michael Adam Canfield: The Last Reporte rAdam Canfield Series 2010 I love family road trips and finding a great book on disc the entire family will enjoy. Adam Canfield has traveled with us on three trips and everyone in the family enjoys these stories. Adam and friends write for the school newspaper, The Slash. In each book it’s good vs. evil, motivated students, and adults who care and want to help the students. jFiction
Winspear, Jacqueline Elegy for Eddie 2012 A solid mystery series that creates a strong sense of place and interesting characters. It’s April 1933 and Maisie’s past and present collide when friends from her past ask her to solve the murder of a friend. Mystery

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