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Reading list for the beginning of 2011

I love to read, but I don’t read — fiction — nearly as often as I should. It’s probably fair to say I read fiction in spurts. I’ll devour half a dozen or more novels in a matter of days, and then go months without picking up another.

My tastes are eclectic. I love middle grade and YA, mysteries, paranormal, mainstream/commercial, and literary. My “keep forever” shelf includes Outlander, Harry Potter (the whole series, though I’m really a fan only of books 1-3), The Clan of the Cave Bear, The Color Purple, gods in alabama, and The Widow’s Season.

I recognize that I should read more often than I do, particularly in my own genre, so I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to read a minimum of one new novel per month. That will probably turn into one buying spree at the bookstore each month, since I rarely buy one book at a time, and I’m not likely to parcel out my purchases *too* far.

Jay and I went to Barnes & Noble tonight, and I bought an assortment of books to get started with. I’ll post reviews as I get them written up.

Ape House, by Sara Gruen. Ape House explores the ability of bonobos, a type of chimpanzee, to think and communicate. I’ve been dying to read this one, though I bet it’s going to be a tear-jerker. All of Sara’s books are about animals, which puts her at the top of my must-read list.

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The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. This is a dark, post-apocalyptic YA novel that I’ve heard absolutely can’t be put down. It’s book one in a trilogy that has had people lining up at bookstores at midnight. I love YA, but I’m not big on sci-fi. Still, I’ve heard so many people rave about this book, that I can’t wait to read it.

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The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein. This book is written from the dog’s point of view, which can either be very good or very cheesy. By all accounts, this book is very, very good. It also promises to be a tear-jerker. I don’t *know* that the canine narrator dies at the end, but I’m guessing he does. Why do the dogs in books always have to die? I promise you — the dogs in my books will NOT die.

The Distant Hours, by Kate Morton. Kate is an Australian writer. I read her last book, The Forgotten Garden, and was thoroughly drawn into the world she created. When I saw this one on the front shelf in BarnesĀ & Noble, it went to the top of my stack. I have no idea what it’s about, but it doesn’t really matter: I trust Kate to write a compelling story.

She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb. This is the first novel by Wally Lamb I’ve read. He has worked with women at a women’s correctional institution and put together several powerful books of the women’s essays. I love those books enough that I decided to take a chance on Wally’s fiction.

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Petty Magic, by Camille DeAngelis. This is the only book I have no connection to, no specific reason for picking up off the shelf. I liked the title, and rather than being in the fantasy/paranormal section, this book was hardcover in the general fiction section. That intrigued me.

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