The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I had to reread this for my book club. It's still touching and heartbreaking the second time around. Though it's certainly not my fave John Green novel (Looking For Alaska still holds that place), it's still a remarkable achievement.
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
I'm so glad I finally read this classic. As a teenager I loved the James Dean movie so much that I was afraid to touch the book. I never knew that Elia Kazan's film is based only on the last part of this story that covers three generations. I have to be honest here and say that I loved this book all the way through till the last portion. Somehow the part of the book covered in the film was done better than in the book...or maybe it was just Dean's outstanding performance as Cal. James Dean was Cal Trask and no amount of imagination while reading the book could beat that. But still East of Eden is a powerful and beautiful novel and I'm so glad I finally read it.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
This is my book club read for February. It was better than I thought it would be but I don't think it merits all the outstanding reviews its received. The story of one man walking 500 miles and meeting and touching people along the way sounds like its been done before (i.e. Forest Gump). I'm surprised it made the Booker long list last year.
Where'd you Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
I totally loved this! This was such a breath of fresh air especially after all the sad books I've read lately (see above). It was a quirky story with kooky characters. Bee's mother, Bernadette, has disappeared so Bee sets out to find her using letters, blog posts, emails, FBI documents, etcetera. I don't think I've ever read anything like this before and I wish there were more books of Bernadette and her family. Nothing really deep here just fun, fun, fun!
The Thieves of Manhattan by Adam Langer
I thought I would like this but didn't really and ended up skimming halfway through. The most interesting thing about this comic novel about the publishing world is the use of it's own vocabulary (i.e. Franzens (eyeglasses), pull a Salinger (hide away for a while), Golightly (black cocktail dress).