**** 1/2
Very good
**** 1/2
Just okay
Not for me
Definitely not for me

2nds Challenge Completed!

The idea of this challenge was to read a second book from an author you enjoyed the first time around. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to read some books that I had wanted to get to but hadn’t had time for yet. I really liked all my choices and will be reading more from all three authors.

Thanks, Joy!

I read the following:

1. Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith FINISHED
This book is a sequel to The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. I plan to read the rest of this series as well.

2. Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho FINISHED
Loved The Alchemist. Looking forward to even more by Coelho.

3. This Year It Will Be Different by Maeve Binchy FINISHED
First Binchy was Evening Class, which I really enjoyed. Any input on which book should be my third from this author?

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
The first book I read by Brooks was March. I plan on reading her new novel, People of the Book, in January.

This Year It Will Be Different

Short Story Monday

thisyeardifferent.gif Last Monday, I summarized the first half of the book, so look there if you’d like more info on all the stories in this book. This week, we have:

“The Christmas Baramundi”
Definitely the most depressing story in the book, and one of the few I really didn’t care for. A woman thinks she meets the perfect man, but then finds out differently.

“This Year It Will Be Different”
This one is also depressing. A woman thinks her family wants to help her with all the Christmas preparations, but do they?

“Season of Fuss”
This time, a woman’s family helps with the preparations, but is that what she really wants?

“A Typical Irish Christmas. . . ”
This one’s nice. A family is reunited.

“Traveling Hopefully”
A man and a woman are stuck on a long plane ride together. Will the relationship continue after the flight?

“What Is Happiness?”
A boy is caught up in his father’s infidelity when the mistress stalks the family.

“The Best Inn in Town”
Two grandmothers fight over their turf in a family that is usually united over the subject.

I would have to say I much preferred the first half of the book to the second half. The second half of the book is much more depressing. While the families depicted in the first half were far from perfect, there was at least a little hope involved. Not so in some of these later stories. However, overall I did enjoy the book and would recommend it for the Christmas season.

1996, 210 pp.
Rating: 4