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2010

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

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In my less charitable moments, I think “oh, those people with money, beautiful children and a successful surgeon husbands ... what a hard, hard life they have.”

The One That I Want by Allison Winn Scotch

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The One That I Want: A Novel is a chick-lit novel combined with a dash of sci-fi and a large walloping of self-help nonsense. After the thrill of Allison Winn Scotch’s Time of My Life: A Novel , it feels like a letdown.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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It's been a long time since a book consumed me to the point where I really didn't want to do anything - eat, work, take out the dog - other than finish it. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, Book 1) is that addictive, to the point where I hollered "nooooo" upon learning that the end of The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, Book 1) is only the end of book one, and that author Suzanne Collins has actually written a trilogy. (There are currently 86 people on the Baltimore County library waiting list for the third installment, Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3) . It comes out at the end of August).

Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Weiss

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A few years ago, after reading yet another book involving a plucky teenage heroine and her physically abusive father, I snapped to my book club, "I am so over abuse books."

Which is terrible, because I know that while Me & Emma is nowhere in the same literary ballpark as say, The Bluest Eye (Vintage International) , I know books like those offer a measure of escape and hope for teenagers and women in similar situations. Or, just because I hated The Secret Life of Bees doesn't mean it lacks merit.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

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I was at a wedding last week and talking to someone who works in a lab. I mentioned I was reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and that it was about the woman behind the HeLa cells. “Oh, the HeLa cells,” she said, her face lighting up. “Everyone works with the HeLa cells.” Yep.

Bloodroot by Amy Greene

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Of the many things I liked about Bloodroot , perhaps my favorite is how the characters on Bloodroot Mountain ultimately are all interconnected.

Pack Up The Moon by Anna McPartlin

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On the heels of finding Julie Powell to be perhaps not the best friend you always wished you had, I find myself asking how important it is to like the heroine of a chick-lit novel.

Cleaving by Julie Powell

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Trapped under all the mischigas of Julie Powell's Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession is an interesting story about marriage, sex and butchery. Sadly for everyone involved, there's so much self-indulgence layered on top that you'll start choking, and it won't be from your luncheon meat.

Fat Cat by Robin Brande

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After I got over my initial disappointment that Fat Cat is not the autobiography of my 16.5-pound orange tabby, I really enjoyed Robin Brande's debut young adult novel.

Everything Changes by Jonathan Tropper

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I can't write about Everything Changes: A Novel without a back story. About a year ago, I picked up How to Talk to a Widower: A Novel (Bantam Discovery) from my favorite local library and thought "my goodness, where has Jonathan Tropper been? What a gem!" So then I read his newest book, This Is Where I Leave You and thought "wow, this is even better than How to Talk to a Widower: A Novel (Bantam Discovery) ! Onward with reading the collected works of Tropper!"

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