I did a lot of catching up with the Elm Creek Quilters this month. I think I am caught up on Jennifer Chiaverini's books now. I read:
The Union Quilters, which follows the Bergstroms and their neighbors during the Civil War. Once again, Chiaverini weaves the story together with the two previous books set in this time period: The Runaway Quilt and The Lost Quilter. Reading from different perspectives gives you a rich storyline and adds depth to the characters.
A Quilter's Holiday, which is all about the Thanksgiving traditions at Elm Creek Quilts, and catches you up on the lives of all your favorite quilters. In addition to a wonderful idea for how to spend Black Friday (as opposed to shopping, one of my least favorite activities), the addition of Anna to the cast makes me hungry! And now that I think of it, that's the book I'm missing: The Quilter's Kitchen. I'll have to hunt that one down as it's not in my library's database.
The Aloha Quilt, which takes place roughly at the same time as A Quilter's Holiday, was next on my list. This book is about Bonnie and her adventure with a new quilt camp in Hawaii. I have never been in love with doing applique, so Hawaiian quilts haven't been on my radar; however, after reading this book I'm dying to try at least one. Maybe a small wall hanging, like Bonnie does, to see if I'd enjoy it. That was a great idea. I love how Jennifer Chiaverini weaves a little quilt history/knowledge into each book without you feeling like you're being lectured.
I also read My Husband's Sweethearts by Bridget Asher. She's the author of The Pretend Wife, another book I loved. My favorite thing about Asher is that she gives you these outlandish scenarios and then makes you completely believe them and fall in love with her characters. This one was touching, funny, and romantic all at the same time.
Ape House, by Sara Gruen. Sara is the writer pal of my favorite Joshilyn Jackson and also the author of Water for Elephants. Speaking of which, have you seen the movie? Stunning, beautiful, true to the book...I loved it! Anyway, Ape House is possibly even better - I feel guilty just typing that! You just fall in love with almost every character, from each of the bonobos with their unique personalities to the green haired vegan protestor.
Speaking of Joshilyn, I finally got around to reading Backseat Saints. Interestingly this book also overlapped with a previous novel, gods in alabama. That was the first novel I ready by Joshilyn and the one that made me fall in love with her work.
Then I picked up a Lincoln Child book from 2009 that we thought we had read before. Terminal Freeze is classic Child (I wonder if he's related to Lee Child, another author I can't put down.*) As always, the supernatural left undescribed is all the more terrifying as it lives in your imagination until the very conclusion. I do have to say, though, that after reading so many of his books I am starting to be able to pick out who's going to die a horrible death by the 5th chapter!
Last, I finished The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier. This one isn't about a specific piece of art like the others of hers I've read; instead, it focuses on a specific shade of blue used by the Catholics to represent The Blessed Mother. Although this was Chevalier's first book and wasn't as well received as her later work, I found the historical scenes to be riveting.
That brings me to twenty-seven books in twenty-one weeks. I am possibly on track to keep a New Year's Resolution for the first time EVER!
How's yours coming?
*apparently they are brothers, both using pen names with the same surname. Interesting!