Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier--A retelling of Beauty & the Beast written by this author is pretty much a guaranteed 5-star read for me. This was my only 5-star book that wasn't a re-read.
In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides--After a slow start, I couldn't put this nonfiction book down. I had to know what happened to the crew of icebound Arctic explorers.
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok, read by Grayce Wey--I've seen bloggers rave about this book for years and now I'm adding my own voice. Kimberly is such a likable character and I wasn't at all sure where her difficult life as an immigrant would lead her and her brilliant mind. The ending was unexpected but perfect.
The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore read by Adenrele Ojo and Pamela D'Pella was a heart-warming tale of female friendships across decades. I laughed and cried along with these characters.
Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer, read by Angela Brazil and Stephen R. Thorne--I was surprised by how much I came to care about the titular characters in this epistolary novel.
All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg--I have laughed and cried my way through Rick Bragg's memoirs. He writes with such beauty about growing up dirt poor in a harsh South and the sacrifices his momma made for him and his brothers.
The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, read by Steven Crossley, translated by Rod Bradbury--The adventures that Alan Karlsson has after climbing out that window are hilarious, as is his unbelievable life story.
Mississippi Jack by L.A. Meyer, read by Katherine Kellgren--The combination of Jacky Faber and Katherine Kellgren is an unbeatable one as far as I'm concerned. I have enjoyed the heck out of every book in this series. They're outrageous tall tales that are indescribably fun.
I Am One of You Forever by Fred Chappell--A fictional story of a boy growing up fairly poor in the Blue Ridge Mountains but rich in the things that count.
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty, read by Elizabeth McGovern--I enjoyed this tale of Cora, the chaperone who, rather late in life, takes control of her own fate and happiness.
That's it! What do you think? Agree? Disagree?
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