Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross - I believe my family made the rounds through most of the Miss Julia books as they were first coming out, but somehow they never got to me. They appeared on my radar a couple of years ago, but I never got around to them. And I'm one of those folks that HAS to start at the beginning of a series. So when I saw this one hanging out at the thrift store, I scooped it up! I was surprisingly disappointed by it. It wasn't especially entertaining, and although the characters were pretty multi-faceted, it didn't grab my attention right off, and even when I thought I was getting into it, I wouldn't stay in very long before I was asking myself "is it done yet?" I admit to skimming a lot in the middle. I did finish the thing (although I kind of had to force myself!) and I'm glad I did because it ended well. I will probably try to read the next one at some point, but I'm not just busting a gut to get at it and if it drags like this one, I'll be done!
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - This one was highly recommended to me by my friend and former pastor Diane Luton Blum. I had seen it at the hospital and meant to borrow it, but never got around to it and I think it went home with someone because I haven't seen it recently. I was thrilled to find it at the thrift store, too! In a word, AMAZING! Unlike Miss Julia, this is one of those that I couldn't (or wouldn't) put down. Even making a snack or attempting to do something else, I had my nose buried in it. I will probably keep this one and read it again and again at various times throughout my life.
Murder Makes Waves by Anne George - This was a re-read I came across when we were cleaning out the shed. I know I've read it but don't remember anything about it, so I figured it would be perfect for the beach. The Southern Sisters mysteries are always wonderful fun. Even though they're technically a "mystery" they are funny and relatively mindless, although not necessarily predictable and even though they're a series, you don't necessarily have to read them in order.
Montessori: A Modern Approach by Paula Polk Lillard- This one was not my typical genre, but it was something I couldn't pass up when I saw it at the thrift store. I am really getting curious about alternative educational options, and although I've read a few brief summaries about how the local montessori school "works" I wanted to explore a little more. I suppose I should have been paying a little more attention, and I will tell on myself. I absolutely made a judgement about this one based on the appearance of the exterior. It was in good shape and not obviously worn or dated. Turns out, it was first published in the 70s and part of me wonders if this wasn't someone's dissertation that had been published. Because of the age, the "modern approach" is a matter of opinion. I had a really hard time getting into it, so I put it aside for a little while. It required a little more thought than I was willing to give it. At the end of the day, I think I want to simply get Dr. Montessori's work and read it for myself!
Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller - This was a free Kindle download. The summary sort of reminded me of some of the Beverly Lewis books I used to read (and would like to read again) but with a twist because it was set in a "colony" of communal Christian living and with the plot circling around a girl transitioning into that world. I was expecting it to be slightly more modern, but overall I've enjoyed getting started on it. I think it will be good.
Full Scoop by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes - This book is the precise reason I like to read books in order. I picked this one up and read it circa 2006, but the whole time something felt a little "off", like I was missing something pretty important. Turns out I was - about five books! Now that I have some of the back story and a framework for the majority of the characters, it was a much easier re-read.
The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary & Sewing Circle by Lois Battle - This is another one that sounded vaguely familiar to me but I had never read so I scooped it up at the thrift store. As a general rule, I'm a sucker when it comes to books set in Alabama. I didn't get to this one, but I will soon enough!