Books

Menagerie’s Published Reviews – By Title

A
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
The Adventures of Snip In Oregon by Betty S. Moir
A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents by Liza Palmer
Almost Final Curtain by Tate Hallaway
A Little Help From My Friends by Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt
After You by Julie Buxbaum
The Alchemy of Loss by Abigail Carter
The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler
An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
April & Oliver by Tess Callahan
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Atonement by Ian McEwan
A Total Waste of Makeup by Kim Gruenenfelder
A Year of Cats & Dogs by Margaret Hawkins
B
B as in Beauty by Alberto Ferreras
The Beach House by Jane Green
Beach Trip: A Novel by Cathy Holton
Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martell
The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
Be Strong Curvaceous by Shelley Adina
Being Written by William Conescu
The Body Scoop For Girls-Straight Talk Guide to a Healthy, Beautiful You by Jennifer Ashton, MD
 The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Broken: A Love Story by Lisa Jones
C
 Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Center of the Universe by Nancy Bachrach
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
Coventry by Helen Humphreys
Cradle and All by James Patterson
Crazy Aunt Purl’s Home Is Where The Wine Is by Laurie Perry
The Cross Gardener by Jason F. Wright
The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha
D
Dating Da Vinci by Marlena Lott
Dewey-The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
Disquiet by Julia Leigh
The Diving Bell & The Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
DreamFever by Karen Marie Moning
E
Easy on the Eyes by Jane Porter
Eat Your Feelings: Recipes For Self-Loathing by Heather Whaley
Edgewise by Jan Stites
Eighth Confession by James Patterson
Eldestby Christopher Paolini – Review by Cole
Eldest by Christopher Paolini (My Child’s Book Review)
The Embers by Hyatt Bass
Everything Sucks by Hannah Friedman
F
Faefever by Karen Marie Moning
Fall To Pieces: A Memoir by Mary Forsberg Weiland
Finding Grace by Donna VanLiere
Fire Me by Libby Malin
Five Things I Can’t Live Without by Holly Shumas
Flirting With Forty by Jane Porter
Follow Me by Joanna Scott
Foreign Tongue by Vanina Marsot
The Frog Prince by Jane Porter
The Fruit of My Lipstick by Shelley Adina
G
Game Change by John Heilemann & Mark Halperin
The Gargoyleby Andrew Davidson
The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez
Girls In Trucks by Katie Crouch
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips
Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain
The Guernsey Litary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Anne Barrows
H
Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
The Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin
Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Holidays On Ice by David Sedaris
Holly’s Inbox by Holly Denham/Bill Surie
Hollywood is Like High School With Money by Zoey Dean
Home Girl by Judith Matloff
Home Is Where The Wine Is by Laurie Perry
The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Hotel On The Corner of Bitter & Sweet by Jamie Ford
House & Home by Kathleen McCleary
The House on Oyster Creek by Heidi Jon Schmidt
How to Save Your Own Life by Michael Gates Gill
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman
I
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I’m So Happy For You by Lucinda Rosenfeld
Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein
Italian For Beginners by Kristen Harmel
It’s All About Us by Shelley Adina
J
Just Between You And Meby Jenny B. Jones
Just Like Me Only Better by Carol Snow
K
Karma for Beginners by Jessica Blank
Keeper of Light and Dust by Natasha Mostert
Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
L
The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
The Last Night In Twisted River by John Irving
Laura Rider’s Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton
The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr
The Lie by Fredrica Wagman
Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Live Deeply & Live Relationally by Lenya Heitzig & Penny Rose
Living Life, Free Style by Linda Nieves-Powell
Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream
Losing Kei by Suzane Kamata
The Lost Diary of Don Juan by Douglas Carlton Abrams
The Lost Dogs-Michael Vick’s Dogs & Their Tale of Rescue & Redemption by Jim Gorant
Lottery by Patricia Wood
Love and Other Natural Disasters by Holly Shumas
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Love The One You’re With by Emily Giffin
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
M
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
The Makedown by Gitty Daneshvari
Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton
The Memory Thief by Rachel Keener
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Miracle Girls by Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt
Misery Loves Cabernet by Kim Gruenenfelder
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Mommywood by Tori Spelling
More Than It Hurts You by Darin Strauss
More Than Words Vol. 6 by Various Authors
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home by Mrs. Thema Meyer
Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter
Muffins & Mayhem: Recipes for a Happy & Disorderly Life by Suzanne Beecher
 My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster
My Husband’s Sweethearts by Bridget Asher
My Own Personal Soap Opera by Libby Malin
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
N
Nearlyweds by Beth Kendrick
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Nineteenth Wife by David Ebershoff
Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart
O
Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax
Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter
O’Juliet by Robin Maxwell
Of Mice & Men by J. Steinbeck
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
P
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Peony In Love by Lisa See
Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane
Perfect on Paper by Janet Goss
The PeTA Guide to Practical Animal Rights by Newkirk
The Prenup by Beth Kendrick
Pretty In Plaid by Jen Lancaster
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Prosecution Rests by The Mystery Writers of America
Q
R
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Roses by Leila Meacham
S
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
The Safety of Secrets by Delaune Michel
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan
Scandal in the City by Holly Denham
Scattershot by David Lovelace
The Secret Garden by Inga Moore
Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
She’ll Take It by Mary Carter
She’s Gone Country by Jane Porter
Short Girls by Bich Minh Nguyen
The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns by Elizabeth Leiknes
The Six Week Cure For the Middle-Aged Middle by Mary Dan Eades and Michael R. Eades
Snow Flower & The Secret Fan by Lisa See
Somebody Else’s Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage
Something Blue by Emily Giffin
Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Spice Up Your Life by Bindu Grandhi
Starting From Scratch When You’re Single Again by Sharon M. Knudson & Mary Fran Heitzman
Starting Over by Andy Serwer
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster
Summer of the Geek by Piper Banks
Sunnyside Blues by Mary Carter
Superfreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
T
There’s Cake in My Future by Kim Gruenenfelder
Tip It by Maggie Griffin
Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax
The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolinski
The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy
This is Water by David Foster Wallace
This Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
This One is Mine by Maria Semple
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Tour de Force by Elizabeth White
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
U
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lihari
Uncharted Territori by Tori Spelling
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
Undress Me In The Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman
The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose
V
Velva Jean Learns To Drive by Jennifer Niven
The Vigorous Mind: Cross-Train Your Brain to Break Through Mental, Emotional & Professional Boundaries by Ingrid E. Cummings
W
Waxed by Robert Rave
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright
What I Wore To Save The World by Maryrose Wood
What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge
Wife Of The Gods by Kwei Quartey
The Wish Maker by Ali Sethi
Who Made You A Princess? by Shelley Adina
Woof! edited by Lee Montgomery
The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah
X
Y
Yesterday’s Weather by Anne Enright
You Lost Him at Hello by Jess McCann
Z
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Recommended Reading: Books Reviewed
(Click Star To Visit Recommended Books Page)
Recommended Reading: Books Not Reviewed
Fiction, Fiction, Fiction…
  • 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 memoir 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • An oldie, but definite goodie is The Lake House by James Patterson. Now, I must admit that I am 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 end. 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.
  • 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-in-law, 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.
  • Last, but never least, GONE WITH THE WIND! It’s my most favorite book of all-time! I’ve also read Scarlett and Rhett Butler’s People. LOVE LOVE LOVE Gone With The Wind!
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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