Here are some short recaps on books I’ve been reading lately. I’ve found that in reading a larger quantity of books, or reading more quickly, what I really love is becoming more and more evident to me. It’s becoming easier and easier for me to see which books are good, and which books I LOVE.

Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story (Carolyn Turgeon) — This was a charming and relatively short novel that I really want to read again! Its sort of an alternative retelling of the Cinderella Story from the fairy Godmother’s perspective. What I loved about this novel was the ending, which challenged the way I read.

Gentlemen and Players (Joanne Harris) — Who doesn’t like a book whose first sentence is: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past fifteen years, it’s this: that murder is really no big deal.” This fabulous, psychological study focuses on an unknown killer targeting a boy’s school and the long-time teacher there who tries to stop the disastrous chain of events. Everything about this novel captivated me, and I whole-heatedly recommend it.

The Ten Year Nap (Meg Woltizer) — This was a good, solid book, but not one for me. The structure, more related short stories than over archingly plot driven, worked for me, and the language was beautiful, but I think I had difficulty relating to many of the main characters. The subject matter may have made this novel “wrong” for me as well, as it focused on women with tweenage children dealing with thoughts about returning to the workforce. That’s just not where I am in my life right now, but I think someone who is dealing with those issues, or even has young children, would really love this book.

The Thirteenth Tale (Dianne Setterfield) — I really adored this book! The story line is far-fetched, but it pulled me in almost from the beginning. This is truly a book for book lovers — anyone who loves classic literature (Bronte, Austen, Dickens) and is okay with a plot where you have to expand your idea of reality will really enjoy this novel. The book also focuses on family relationships, particularly relationships between siblings, even more specifically, between twins. I would highly, highly recommend this book.

The Empty Mirror (J. Sydney Jones) — Set in Vienna, this murder mystery focuses on an armature detective lawyer and his criminal expert (a la Sherlock Holmes) partner. I expected to really enjoy this novel, but I had a hard time getting into it. I didn’t really relate to any of the main characters. It is well written, and there are parts I found very engaging. I think what I wanted was more psychological analysis, or to get more insight into the minds of the different characters. I also got the feeling that I was reading part of a series, as events between the two main characters were alluded to — that may have contributed to my feeling of disconnect as well.

The 19th Wife (David Ebershoff) — Please, please read this book! This fabulous novel focuses on polygamy through the view points of five different narrators, 3 from the early founding of the Mormon Church and the beginning of polygamy, and two from the modern day. While the novel is fictional, it is written with chapters that are experts from Wikipedia, diary entries, interview, etc. I thought the multiple narrators and style changes could become confusing, but each narrator has a distinct voice, eliminating any confusion. This novel is poignant and really makes you think about the many issues that surround polgyamy. I found this novel engaging, though-provoking, entertaining and even educational.