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Display Name: Jen M
About me: Mom of 2, hospital employee, I use books as an escape from my personal and professional lives. I love sharing a book title with a friend when I find one that is perfectly suited for him/her.
Reading Interests: Memoirs, TV on DVD, children's books.

Jen M's Book Lists
Must put down my electronics and pick up a book! (2 titles)
I've been out of the habit of a weekly visit to the library. We have gone the last two weeks now because my kids and I are wasting too much time on our ipods, smart phones, laptop, etc.
Books I Only Recommend To My Friends (43 titles)
This list contains books that have helped me escape my day to day routines and realize maybe the drama of my life is not all that. A lot of memoirs, a few novels, some about family relationships, growing up, finding oneself, facing down addiction, etc. Its a montage. Enjoy.

Jen M's Comments    
Cover ArtA fair maiden
by Oates, Joyce Carol, 1938-
My first read by Oates. Not too sure about it. Sad ending. Maybe I just didn't get it. I am not fond of the "lolita" relationship.   posted Mar 18, 2013 at 9:37AM

Cover ArtSpooky little girl : a novel
by Notaro, Laurie.
I thought some stereotypical chick lit was what I needed to get back in the swing of reading. Everything was going well until the main character went into the afterlife and the author lost me. Sorry!   posted Mar 18, 2013 at 9:36AM

Cover ArtMy life in France
by Child, Julia.
I savored every well written detail of her adventures both in the kitchen and out. Remind yourself while reading that this was the 1950's and what a different path she chose from most women her age. What a woman!   posted Aug 17, 2011 at 6:12PM

Cover ArtJulie and Julia : my year of cooking dangerously
by Powell, Julie.
100 times more satisfying than watching the movie. If you like this I highly recommend also reading Julia Child's "My Life in France".   posted Aug 17, 2011 at 6:10PM

Cover ArtGo the fuck to sleep
by Mansbach, Adam, 1976-
If you didn't relate and laugh your a#* off when you read this, you're no friend of mine. lol!   posted Aug 17, 2011 at 6:09PM

Cover ArtA stolen life : a memoir
by Dugard, Jaycee Lee, 1980-
Jaycee has triumphed by not letting hate or revenge consume her. An amazing story of survival and the power of a mother's love, both Jaycee and Jaycee's mother.   posted Aug 17, 2011 at 6:00PM

Cover ArtThe view from here
by McKinlay, Deborah
The ending will surprise you and reward you. I love the parallels between her early twenties and end of life experiences.   posted Aug 17, 2011 at 5:57PM

Cover ArtEat, pray, love : one woman's search for everything across Italy, India and Indo
by Gilbert, Elizabeth, 1969-
I haven't seen the movie so I don't know how it compares. Her time in Italy is my favorite.   posted Jul 20, 2011 at 6:09PM

Cover ArtEven silence has an end : my six years of captivity in the Colombian jungle
by Betancourt, Ingrid, 1961-
If you read this, you must also read 'Out of Captivity' by Mark Consalves. I'm also going to read another by Clara Rojas. The lives of all three intersect in the Colombian jungle during 5 years of captivity. Unbelievable conditions and treatment that bring out both the best and worst of humanity. Very interesting to compare and contrast their versions of the events.   posted Jul 6, 2011 at 5:59PM

Cover ArtThe Paris wife : a novel
by McLain, Paula.
This book has all the elements of an unforgettable love story - youth, hope, passion, determination, adventure, birth, betrayal, and new beginnings. Set mostly in Paris and Europe in the era of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Pound, Stein. What I wouldn’t give to have been part of that scene...   posted Jun 15, 2011 at 6:35PM

Cover ArtSo B. It : a novel
by Weeks, Sarah.
I’d loved this story - a brave and determined girl sets out to find the answers to the questions that matter most to her. Not a happy happy ending but we can imagine a happy new beginning for her.   posted Jun 15, 2011 at 6:28PM

Cover ArtBetween a rock and a hard place
by Ralston, Aron.
I don’t often say this but just rent the movie (127 hours) instead...   posted Jun 2, 2011 at 6:08PM

Cover ArtHeaven is for real : a little boy’s astounding story of his trip to heaven and b
by Burpo, Todd
As the mother of two young children, and not someone you would call a believer -- I believe, I believe! The book will leave you smiling for this lucky family.   posted Jun 2, 2011 at 6:03PM

Cover ArtYou know when the men are gone
by Fallon, Siobhan
Every short story will leave you longing for more. The author is an outstanding writer and the individual and intimate journeys described in the stories were diverse and touching.   posted Jun 2, 2011 at 5:59PM

Cover ArtThe dressmaker of Khair Khana : five sisters, one remarkable family, and the wom
by Tzemach Lemmon, Gayle.
A story of triumph and true courage. Also a glimpse of how women lived under the Taliban - I can’t even begin to imagine... I was also amazed and envious at the loyalty and cooperation within the family.   posted Jun 2, 2011 at 5:57PM

Cover ArtI do not come to you by chance
by Nwaubani, Adaobi.
This book is quite intriguing. If you have ever received an email from a country far far away asking you to send a little money to help someone in distress recover a lot of money, of which you will share, you must read this story. And if you don’t know what a 419 is you will find out there is a name for the email scam I describe...   posted May 28, 2011 at 2:39PM

Cover ArtWaiting : the true confessions of a waitress
by Ginsberg, Debra
I tried really hard to like this book. It came highly recommended. I only made it about 100 pages in. Too much!   posted May 19, 2011 at 6:09PM

Cover ArtUnited States of Tara. The first season [videorecording]
by Collette, Toni.
I agree. Toni Collette is amazing. I like her best as Tara, of course. I checked this out because the series has received a lot of praise/attention. If you don’t like it when you watch the pilot I encourage you to watch on. As the characters develop it gets better and better.   posted May 19, 2011 at 6:05PM

Cover ArtTweak : (growing up on methamphetamines)
by Sheff, Nic.
This book is pretty unbelievable. Unbelievable that he has survived to write another book   posted Apr 28, 2011 at 6:41PM

Cover ArtGirlbomb : a halfway homeless memoir
by Erlbaum, Janice
I give Janice Erlbaum so much credit for taking her life in her own hands, attempting to be honest with herself, and revealing so much of herself in this memoir. Her mom? Too much!!   posted Apr 28, 2011 at 6:37PM

Cover ArtAugusta, gone : a true story
by Dudman, Martha Tod.
I expected much more from this memoir. The mother seems just short of in control of her family, seems a bit naive, almost an enabler? I’d love to hear what others think of this book...   posted Apr 28, 2011 at 6:34PM

Cover ArtHere if you need me : a true story
by Braestrup, Kate.
I was in a memoir rut - reading too many stories of drug addiction and alcoholism. This memoir took me out of that rut and is just a very unique and meaningful story/journey.   posted Apr 28, 2011 at 6:31PM

Cover ArtTen thousand sorrows : the extraordinary journey of a Korean War orphan
by Kim, Elizabeth.
What a triumph! The author writes with bare honesty, sometimes almost painful to read. In the end she begins to heal. I really enjoyed the excerpts from her daughter’s perspective. I couldn’t put it down.   posted Apr 16, 2011 at 3:16PM

Cover ArtA friend of the family : a novel
by Grodstein, Lauren.
I loved this book! The writer alludes to the events that unfold at the end throughout the whole book. It will keep you entertained and intrigued until life unravels with the behavior of the father, the main character. I couldn’t put it down and found myself warming up to Laura as the story went on.   posted Apr 9, 2011 at 3:55PM

Cover ArtDirty secret : a daughter comes clean about her mother’s compulsive hoarding
by Sholl, Jessie.
This is a really touching story. Any woman will identify themes in this mother-daughter relationship that are common experience, even without the hoarding. The reader will loose patience with the mother in this book long before the writer does. But, that is what is so revealing about how as daughters of dysfunctional mothers, we never give up hope. I read it in just over 24 hours, neglecting my own daughter while I did. :)   posted Mar 14, 2011 at 5:16PM

Cover ArtMama : a true story in which a baby hippo loses his mama during a tsunami, but f
by Winter, Jeanette.
I really enjoyed this story with my kids. Be ready to answer a lot of questions/do some explaining if your child is anything like my kindergartener.   posted Mar 12, 2011 at 3:33PM

Cover ArtMary McCartney : from where I stand
by McCartney, Mary
These are good photographs. However, this collection would not have been published without the family ties that allow her to photograph who she does. The introductory words by others left me expecting much more. I don’t know if photographers will find this very compelling.   posted Mar 12, 2011 at 3:31PM

Cover ArtRudo y Cursi [videorecording]
by Cuaron, Carlos
Another entertaining story with these guys in the lead. Soooo love Gael Garcia Bernal that I gave my son his name for a middle name. If you like this, check Y Tu Mama Tambien and Amores Perros.   posted Feb 12, 2011 at 2:56PM

Cover ArtProject runway. The complete second season [videorecording]
by Klum, Heidi.
Just watched this even though its over 5 years old. Enjoyed it. Worth watching for the behavior and quotes by Santino. Last show = happy ending.   posted Feb 12, 2011 at 2:49PM

Cover ArtForever ours : a forensic pathologist’s perspective on immortality and living :
by Amatuzio, Janis.
Not for autopsy lovers, crime voyeurs...   posted Feb 5, 2011 at 4:02PM

Cover ArtHow do dinosaurs go to school?
by Yolen, Jane.
My 3 yr old son can’t get enough of this rhyming, question asking book. Great illustrations too.   posted Feb 5, 2011 at 4:00PM

Cover ArtBonobo handshake : a memoir of love and adventure in the Congo
by Woods, Vanessa
Despite the tragic surroundings, the story is really uplifting, humorous, emotional.   posted Feb 4, 2011 at 5:19PM

Cover ArtSlash
by Slash (Musician)
500 pages, really? But you won’t be able to put it down. Next, I’d like to read Axl’s version of events.   posted Jan 15, 2011 at 1:22PM

Cover ArtFalling apart in one piece : one optimist’s journey through the hell of divorce
by Morrison, Stacy
I thoroughly appreciated the honesty with which Stacy Morrison writes. I related to her in so many ways. If you have been through a bitter divorce, you may not be able to stand the optimism but then again it may help you see another version of divorce and the ultimate outcome, peace.   posted Sep 15, 2010 at 6:08PM

Cover ArtThe heights
by Hedges, Peter.
This book is great. I wanted to read on. I generally don’t like books written from a woman’s perspective, by a man. The author writes in first person for several characters and it works well. The ending is awesome and surprising.   posted Sep 15, 2010 at 6:03PM

Cover ArtAmen, amen, amen : memoir of a girl who couldn’t stop praying (among other thing
by Sher, Abby
Easy to read, insightful into the struggle with personal loss at a young age and OCD. Good memoir.   posted Mar 18, 2010 at 5:15PM

Cover ArtHer last death : a memoir
by Susanna Sonnenberg
This book is an easy read, but feels voyeuristic like a People magazine at times. A great escape from my life as a mom of 2...   posted Jul 10, 2008 at 9:22PM

Cover ArtThe Namesake
by Jhumpa Lahiri
I too really enjoyed this book. I don’t know much about Indian culture but my husband is from another country and much of what she describes about the family in this book holds true for other immigrant populations as well.   posted Jun 11, 2007 at 8:14PM

Cover ArtI capture the castle [DVD]
by Parfitt, David
While I strongly recommend the book, I was disappointed by the movie and did not even finish it. Like most books made into movies, it didn’t do the story justice.   posted Jul 24, 2006 at 7:34PM

Cover ArtA nose like a hose
by Samuels, Jenny.
Such a cute book. My nearly two year old loves it, especially when we create our own sound effects!   posted Jul 24, 2006 at 7:28PM

What Jen M is Reading
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