Books, Books, Books



Menagerie’s Published Reviews

The Lost Diary of Don Juan by Douglas Carlton Abrams (Coming October 30th)

Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby (Coming October 29th)

My Husband’s Sweethearts by Bridget Asher

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

Yesterday’s Weather by Anne Enright

Being Written by William Conescu

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

Dewey-The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler

Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert

Living Life, Free Style by Linda Nieves-Powell

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lihari

The Safety of Secrets by Delaune Michel

Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig


On My Nightstand:

Books I’m Currently Reading…

Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

One Man Great Enough – Abraham Lincoln’s Road to Civil War by John C. Waugh

The John Steinbeck Series

Home Girl by Judith Matloff


The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez

They Must Be Stopped

The End of Iraq

What’s on My Nightstand… (click and see)


Other Reads In My Collection

Fiction, Fiction, Fiction…

The books that have made such a deep impact on me that are a must read include:

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – A riveting story about growing up and how we each value things in a different way.  Our family dynamics make an indelible impression on our psyche and future.

Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres – A story about growing up in a mixed race family in the “Bible Belt” and how hatred based on just the color of skin can destroy a life.  This novel is based on a true story and makes you wonder what Julia’s parents were thinking!

 I’m totally addicted to Alice Sebold’s works.  I was captured by The Lovely Bones (a #1 Bestseller) and found The Almost Moon equally engaging.  The Lovely Bones is currently being made into a movie starring Susan Sarandon and Mark Walhberg, I can hardly wait! These novels are both worth your time to explore the gruesome, yet delicate side of the human psyche.

If you haven’t seen the movie (not that I’m complaining about Kate Winslet’s outstanding performance), a definite read for any mother is Little Children by Tom Perrotta.  Being a mom of twins and understanding being where Sarah’s coming from.  The registered sex offender, you nearly find compassion for. 

Next on the agenda: Anne Brashares’ The Last Summer (of You & Me).  Anne may be most known for her bestselling novel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but I felt this novel was equally good, if not better. 
I wouldn’t be the true ZooKeeper if I wasn’t fully in love with Marley & Me.  Is there any dog lovers out there who haven’t read it yet?  If not, run (do not walk) to the bookstore and grab yourself a copy on paperback.  This story had me laughing out loud and in tears… but, most of all, even more in love with my Yellow Lab, Tori.
An oldie, but definite goodie is The Lake House by James Patterson.  Now, I must admit that I a a greater fan of his “softer side” novels.  This author has sold more than 140 million copies of his books and is well known for the Alex Cross books, Along Came a Spider, and Kiss the Girls.  Since I’m not the avid mystery reader, I typically don’t pick up thrillers.  But, this unique book was creative, bold, and kept me on my toes wanting more.  My favorite James Patterson novel is Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas which was made into a “made for TV” movie starring Christina Applegate and her ex-husband.  In any event, the book makes me believe in great love and I’m lost in the book towards the tend.  It’s always off my bookshelf as I’m continually lending it out.  Other novels in his “softer side” genre are Sam’s Letters to Jennifer and 2008’s Sunday’s at Tiffany’s (loved that one!).  All, in my opinion, MUST READS!

I, of course, as a mom and middle aged, normal bodied woman, love love love Jennifer Wiener.  I have read all of her works and, like my children, don’t have a favorite.  

My girlfriend Julie has gotten me started on the Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.  I just finished up One For the Money and have only 13 more books to go!  But, it’s great reading while huffing and puffing on the elyptical machine.

By now, you’ve should’ve picked up on the fact that I love romance, movies, books, stories and all.  Being that type of gal, I find Nicholas Sparks irresistable.  Each and every work, I’ve devoured.  Like Jennifer Wiener’s books, again, tough to pick a favorite.  I think that A Walk to Remember and The Notebook remain all-time favorites.  Plus, Nicholas is just such a great guy… Christian, good husband, doting father, and interesting guy.  I learned much about him in the book he co-wrote with his brother, Micah, Three Weeks with My Brother.  He’s got a new one coming out in September 2008 that will most immediately be reviewed on my blog-site thereafter.

Have you read The Time Traveler’s Wife?  All I can say is that it’s a MUST READ!  And, do so before the movie, starring Rachel McAdams (love her) is released so that you get the full richness of this fantastic book!  Much thanks to my sister, Terra, for getting me to read that book!

An oldie, but goodie… much richer than the movie… White Oleander by Janet Finch.  Oprah’s Book Club directed me to pick up this read that no mother or daughter should miss.

 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was a book that I had a hard time putting down.  Thank goodness that I have friends who are knowledgeable about the language and the history so that I was more enlighted on the story, itself.  This story is just as the cover says, “Powerful… Haunting.”
A while back I read The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn by Janis Hallowell.  It is a tale of people who are hopeful that a young girl is their key to salvation.  I fell in love with the characters in this book and highly recommend it.

Non-Fiction, Biographies, Spirituality, How-To’s and More…

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

sTori Telling by Tori Spelling (wicked pleasure)

The Instruction:Living the Life Your Soul Intended by Ainslie MacLeod

90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey

Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Austitic Savant by Daniel Tammet


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