Belben's 2009 Reading Log

By cbelben
  • Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez

    I was stuck without a book in Puerto Vallarta and bought this at Pagina del Sol. Interesting memoir about a woman who flees a bad marriage and starts a beauty school in Kabul.
  • The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

    The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
    In the aftermath of the Columbine shooting, a school nurse deals with the traumatic events, and she and her husband move back to his hometown, where he copes with her mental collapse and the ghosts of his own past. I liked but didn't love this book--it starts really strong, but weakens as the author tries to tackle too many things.
  • Quiet, Please by Scott Douglas

    Quiet, Please by Scott Douglas
    This is a hilarious memoir about a public librarian and his myriad strange encounters with patrons and co-workers. Even if you've never worked in a library, you'll appreciate Douglas's observations about work.
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    A fantastic YA novel about a futuristic America in which a yearly competition pits teens against one another in a televised fight to the death.
  • The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian

    The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian
    An elderly couple takes a final roadtrip in this very funny novel.
  • Paper Towns by John Green

    Paper Towns by John Green
    Witty, clever YA novel about a young man in love with his mysterious next-door neighbor, who vanishes and becomes the object of a quest.
  • Boy Toy by Barry Lyga

    Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
    Years after being involved in a sexual relationship with his teacher, a teenager must cope with the impact of their affair again when she is released from jail. Well-written and detailed enough to really show how a relationship like this could develop between a needy adult and a vulnerable student without resorting to sensationalism.
  • Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech

    Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
    For fans of Love That Dog, Creech's story revisits the poetry-hating character and traces his reaction to his new pet.
  • Dishes by Rich Wallace

    Dishes by Rich Wallace
    A teen working in a gay bar owned by his father learns about life from the regulars who patronize the establishment.
  • How This Night is Different by Elisa Alpert

    How This Night is Different by Elisa Alpert
    A collection of short stories about Jewish teenagers and women, this is a hilarious and irreverent look at how culture and religion influence (and often wreak havoc on) our everyday lives. Perfect if you liked Melissa Bank's book The Wonder Spot.
  • Matrimony by Joshua Henkin

  • The School for Dangerous Girls by Eliot Schrefer

    The School for Dangerous Girls by Eliot Schrefer
    A teenager girl sent to a reform school discovers that something very weird is going on and sets out to discover what big secrets are being hidden.
  • How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People by Henry Alford

    How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People by Henry Alford
    Pretty much what the title says.
  • While They Slept by Kathryn Harrison

    While They Slept by Kathryn Harrison
    Harrison delves into the family and personal dynamics that drove 18-year-old Billy Gilley to murder his parents and younger sister to death in 1984. Drawing on extensive interviews with Gilley's surviving sister, Harrison creates a fascinating analysis of the crime, its causes, and its repercussions.
  • The L:abrador Pact by Matt Haig

    The L:abrador Pact by Matt Haig
    A dog's eye view of a family in crisis. Awesome, especially for dog lovers.
  • Sum: Forty Tales of the Afterlives by David Eagleman

    Sum: Forty Tales of the Afterlives by David Eagleman
    I absolutely loved reading this book--amazing language and incrediblly insightful and sly perspectives on why might happen after we die.
  • I'm Perfect, You're Doomed by Kyria Abrams

    I'm Perfect, You're Doomed by Kyria Abrams
    Funny, revealing memoir about the author's life being raised as a Jehovah's Witness, her disastrous, early marriage to another JW, and her eventual choice to leave the organization.
  • Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

    Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul
    Brain research about the importance of play--especially the unscheduled, imaginative play of childen and the need for adults to incorporate play into their lives in order to stay physically fit and mentally strong. Good stuff.
  • Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson

    Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson
    Amazingly well written, unique short stories. This is one of those books that made me want to sit down and write.
  • Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey

    Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey
    More cool brain research. Exercise is good for your brain as well as your body, and here's why.
  • Life Sentences by Laura Lippman

    Life Sentences by Laura Lippman
    Writer Cassandra Fallows decides to follow up on her two successful memoirs with a true crime book about a woman she knew as a child who later became notorious when her infant son disappeared and she went to jail rather than explain what had happened to him. Lippman is one of my favorite mystery writers!
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

    Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
    Intense and provocative book about a teenager suffering to recover from her best friend's death due to anorexia and her own failing health as a result of the disease.
  • The Local News by Miriam Gershow

    The Local News by Miriam Gershow
    Another awesome missing-person story. Check out my complete review at www.belbensbookblog.blogspot.com
  • The Vast Fields of Ordinary

    The Vast Fields of Ordinary
    Amazing story about a teenager coming out. Loved the writing.
  • The Family Man by Elinor Lipman

    The Family Man by Elinor Lipman
    Lipman writes light stories with exquisite dialogue. This one is no exception.
  • Behind the Bedroom Door

    A collection of essays about women's sex lives, before and after marriage.