This is on a lot of peoples lists. It's the story of a woman who's husband disappears on the eve of their one year anniversary. In the beginning it sort of sounds a lot like the first episode of Homeland season 1. (the only episode I saw of that show.) Girl loses husband, girl finds great new guy, husband calls from missing for several years. What's a girl to do? Two great guys, one technically your husband, one your fiance. This book is one that you will easily figure out the ending before it happens. I can't say that I loved it, too predictable, but it is a quick read so it has that going for it.
2. Pride and Prejudice
Okay, not the first time I've read it this year. See here for my ranking of all of Jane Austen's novels. I picked this up again after I watched the excellent movie version of Sense and Sensibility and just wanted to read something Austen.
What does one read when you've read everything Austen again and again? Georgette Heyer. She was prolific and her books always have (at least all the ones I've read) a strong female lead character. This book focuses on Annis, a 29 year old wealthy, independent woman who accidentally ends up in charge of a young woman trying to flee a marriage proposal. Annis comes into contact with the girl's guardian, Mr. Oliver Carleton, quite possibly the rudest man in all of England. You can probably guess what happens but it sure is good.....
The second book about Calpurnia, this book focuses on her life in the year 1900 as she discovers the world of veterinary medicine, a cousin who takes over her room, and dealing with being a second class citizen in the world simply because she's a girl. Not as good as the first but still completely charming. If you have your daughter read it one caveat- this book focuses a lot on Darwinism (as does the first) as well as excellent science information. I do not believe in macro-evolution, so be prepared to engage in conversations with your children about evolution and the like and if you aren't ready for those discussions or don't think your child can handle it, maybe wait a bit. But as a Christian scientist (they do exist!! My field was microbiology.) I loved this book.
5. My Antonia
This is the lovely Penguin drop caps version, I own it and a few others because I am working on something for our house. This book is one of the 12 classics that Ava has to read for the year. I've never read it and thought I maybe should before she does. This book probably would have bored me to tears when I was young, but as an adult it wasn't terrible. It follows Jim Burden as he moves to Nebraska after the death of his parents. He notices a immigrant family with a girl named Antonia who happens to be their nearest neighbor. The story moves through Jim and Antonia's life at different stages and their relationship. I felt like the book was really only okay, I didn't hate it but didn't love it. My favorite part was the ending bit but I can't really describe it without giving the book away, so I'll just say that it made me think about past relationships and what it would be like to come in contact with some of them again.
6. Butterfield 8
Again, the Penguin drop caps version. This book focuses on a prostitute and a married man during the 30s prohibition and speakeasy times post Great Depression. It's based on a true story which is honestly terrible. I did not like this book even a little bit, I am a tad bit surprised that it got all of these great reviews when it was written, but then again, I don't like anything it talks about- prostitutes, loose living, being unfaithful to your spouse, so what can I expect. I literally only read it because it's a book I got for my project. I'd probably rather glue it shut so my kids can never see what's in it. Skip it.
7. Jane Eyre
I love Jane Eyre more every time I read it. Ava was reading it for her classic pick for the month of August and I decided to do it with her, only I got distracted by all of the above books and just finished it up. She loved it just as much as I and we are desperately trying to find an open evening where we can watch the movie together starring Mia Wasikowski.
Update on my reading goal: I aim for 100 books every year. It's not something I push myself to get to, but just a general goal. Currently, I am at 74 for the year with 3 months left. My reading has slowed down significantly the last few months with the addition of school back in the game. (We homeschool.) So while I think it's doable, I am not really sure. This year Ava added a sport that she didn't play last year so quite a few of our evenings involve driving to games and I can't read in the car. Insert sad emoji face here. Last year my total was 111.