’Tis the Season for…

Monday Musings from Melinda by Melinda M.

…lists! In that spirit, I share with you the books my group and I read this year. Looking back on it, it was a pretty good year – not only did I read all of them (might be a first!), but I really enjoyed most. Here they are in order of when we read them:img_8275Euphoria Lily King

An engaging read about a love triangle between an anthropologist, her husband and their colleague who are studying indigenous people in Papua New Guinea. A bit of romance, culture and suspense reminiscent of the life of Margaret Mead.

Songs of Willow Frost Jamie Ford

This easy read transported me to the 1930s world of Seattle. I liked it!

Golem and the Jinni Helene Wecker

Every year, it seems like one epic makes it into our hands and this was that book. Well written and well researched. You won’t be sorry about losing yourself in it!

Vampires in the Lemon Grove Karen Russell

These were charming and eccentric short stories. I didn’t love all but I did like most.IMG_8248The First Time She Drowned Kerry Kletter

This Young Adult book made the American Library Association’s and Barnes & Noble’s “Best of” list for 2016 for good reason. Just because Kerry is my childhood friend, doesn’t mean I’m biased! Even the late, great Pat Conroy said: “Beautiful and passionate . . . [Kletter is] a writer of great distinction and infinite promise.” How cool is that?! Soon out in paperback, it’s always available as an e-book!img_8178Wild Cheryl Strayed

I thought I would hate this book since I equated it to Eat, Pray, Love, which I didn’t like. So happy to have been wrong. This book is better than you expect in many ways and I’ve caught myself thinking of her and her journey every so often.IMG_0222.jpgThe Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo

Probably one of the most satirized books around. I did roll my eyes when it was presented, but there are definitely tips in here that I am grateful for – like folding my shirts to fit the drawer. Who knew?!

Stasiland Anna Funder

What a haunting non-fiction book about life in post-Cold War East Germany and the ghosts of that secretive past. I didn’t love it from the start, but by a quarter of the way in, I was hooked.

Arcadia Lauren Groff

A realistic imagining of a full life from being raised in a commune to old age near the present day with all of the cultural values that have evolved overlaid. It will feel familiar to anyone Gen X or older.

The Inheritance of Loss Kiran Desai

None of us loved this novel. Heavy, sad stories about the Indian experience, as American immigrants and in India set in contemporary times. The writing was beautiful.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe Fannie Flagg

This was the one I didn’t finish, but only because I had read it years ago. This is the book that turned me on to Southern writing. I found it delightful.

The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins

My daughter, dad and I happened to have read this over the summer together, before it was presented at book club. We each enjoyed its fast pace and suspenseful story. Easy and fun.

A Man Called Ove Fredrick Backman

What a surprising read! I was not convinced from the start and needed encouragement to carry on but by halfway through I was tearing up with sentimental emotion and chuckling along. Do try it.

Loving Frank Nancy Horan

This was like a guilty pleasure. Historical fiction that reads like a romance novel about the seven-year adulterous relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Borthwick just as Frank is emerging as the American architect.

Three-year Swim Club Julie Checkoway

Nothing to report yet on this non-fiction book about a man who taught a group of poor, rural boys from the sugar cane fields of Maui how to swim and compete. I’m excited about finishing our year with this one!

Wishing you a 2017 full of good reads!



  1. Thanks!! Always love your posts and glimpses into your life. This one had a surprise with all of the helpful book reviews! I trust your opinions!!😘


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