Top Ten Books on My Spring To-Be-Read List

Spring is in the air in D.C. As the season changes, of course my mind turns to books, books, and more books. Here are a few I’m planning to read over the next few weeks–hopefully outside, in the shade of a blossoming tree!

10. More Like Her by Liza Palmer
From the cover:

Sometimes the golden dream you fervently wish for turns out to be not at all what it seems–like Emma Dunham’s enviable suburban postcard life, which is about to be brutally cut short by a perfect husband turned killer. And in the shocking aftermath, three devastated friends, Frances, Lisa, and Jill, are going to have to come to terms with their own secrets . . . and somehow learn to move forward after their dream is exposed as a lie.

I’ve been wanting to read more female authors, and the premise of this book is fascinating. It sounds rather different from the standard chick-lit novel (if such a standard exists).

9. Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
The first book in C. S. Lewis’s acclaimed Space Trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet begins the adventures of Dr. Ransom, who is abducted via spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. Out of the Silent Planet is not my typical kind of book, but I have a strange fascination with C.S. Lewis. Also, my brother received this trilogy for Christmas as a kid, and he still counts them among his favorite books.

8. Butterfly’s Child by Angela Davis-Gardner
From the cover:

When three-year-old Benji is plucked from the security of his home in Nagasaki to live with his American father, Lt. Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, and stepmother, Kate, on their farm in Illinois, the family conceals Benji’s true identity as a child born from a liaison between an officer and a geisha—and instead tells everyone that he is an orphan. When the truth surfaces, it will splinter this family’s fragile dynamic and send Benji on the journey of a lifetime from Illinois to the Japanese settlements in Denver and San Francisco, then across the ocean to Nagasaki, where he will uncover the truth about his mother’s tragic death.

Also, this book features a blurb from Jennifer Egan. ‘Nuff said.

7. Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Kamila Sidiqi’s life changed drastically when the Taliban seized control of the city of Kabul. Kamila, a teacher, was banned from school and confined to her home, but in the face of despair, she created a thriving dressmaking business. This is a true story of one extraordinary woman in Afghanistan who proves that Afghan women are not victims; they are the backbone and the heart of their nation.

6. Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty
From the cover:

After the death of Laura’s nine-year-old daughter, Betty, is ruled an accident in a hit-and-run, Laura decides to take revenge into her own hands, determined to track down the man responsible. All the while, her inner turmoil is reopening the old wounds of her passionate love affair with Betty’s father, David, and his abandonment of the family for another woman.

This book was a finalist for my beloved Orange Prize; need I say more?

5. Maui Revealed by Andrew Doughty
In case you missed it, I’ll be heading to Maui in a few short months. When I started doing research on where to go and what to see, this book was mentioned again and again. One Maui resident said that locals are authorized to shoot the author on sight for giving away all their secrets; sounds like a great guidebook to me! (Andrew Doughty is presumably of no relation to Louise Doughty, mentioned above; but it would be interesting if he were!)

4. Red Nails, Black Skates: Gender, Cash, and Pleasure on and Off the Ice by Erica Rand
Erica Rand was a forty-something art history professor when she bought a pair of figure skates to vary her workout routine. Within a few years, she was immersed in the world of adult figure skating. Rand, a queer femme, describes her mixed feelings about participating in a sport with heterosexual storylines and rigid standards about gender appropriate costumes and moves. Though this book is more academic than my usual read, I’m a huge fan of figure skating and can’t wait to read about Rand’s experiences and insight.

3. Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton
“No one is above suspicion when a cozy scenario of suburban family accord morphs into a full-throttle psychological thriller, ring-fenced by a mother’s love,” writes Kirkus Reviews. Lupton is the author of the New York Times bestseller Sister, and I’ve heard wonderful things about this book, now in paperback.

2. Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
I recently wrapped up the first Maisie Dobbs book by Jacqueline Winspear, and I loved it. Maisie is a brilliant but empathetic (and sympathetic) character, and I can’t wait to read the next books in the series, starting with Birds of a Feather.

1. Faces of the Gone by Brad Parks
I just discovered local author Brad Parks last night, and then I found out that he will soon be visiting some of my favorite local bookshops, including One More Page and Novel Books! I’ve got to make up for lost time by reading this series ASAP.

What about you–what are reading this lovely spring?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each Tuesday, bloggers create top ten lists about reading, writing, blogging, and more!

I receive a very small commission when you purchase the book through the above links to Indiebound. Thank you for helping to support my site–and my book addiction!

7 replies »

  1. You have some very interesting books on your list, Melody. I have a daughter who’s enthralled with Japanese culture, so BUTTERFLY’S CHILD caught my eye. I really need to read C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy sometime soon, too. That series has evaded me for too long.

    On your “About” page, you say you are particularly interested in books that explore geography and identity. Have you ever read BREATH, EYES, MEMORY by Edwidge Danticat? I reviewed it yesterday on my blog, and if you haven’t read it already, I think it you might want to take a look at it.


  2. So excited to see you enjoyed the first Maisie. I’ve read them all and love them! I’ll also be reading Afterwards and Butterly’s Child and am looking forward to both! Happy spring reading!


  3. Indeed, spring is in the air here in D.C. My allergies told me so! I don’t think I can make it through 10 books in spring considering my current pace has me at 2 books a month. I just started Steve Jobs yesterday. It barely made the cut over The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.


  4. Out of the Silent Planet was the first Lewis book I read. I was reluctant to continue the trilogy, lest I be disappointed. But I enjoyed all three books–especially the finale. I know that like your brother you’ll enjoy them as well.


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