The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Yes, I’m still working on my 2016 book challenge.

paintedgirls_buchanan

Since The Painted Girls fulfilled the “something your mom recommends” category, I present to you my genius mother’s review:

“This book called my name from several places—bookstores, airports, discount chains—so I finally gave in and purchased it. Having a niece in the ballet industry, combined with my love of historical fiction, drew me in, wooed me. And once I began to read I couldn’t put it down. The dark underbelly of Paris, teeming with ne’er-do-wells, is revealed: the façade of the well-to-do patrons, the incredible struggle of the poor, the heartbreaking sacrifices of the dancers, all woven together to create an intriguing tale of love and loss.”

No. 18 on my challenge. Thanks for the recommendation, Momma. I whole-heartedly agree.

The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart

PianoShopontheLeftBank.ThadCarhart

A stunning love letter to pianos:

“We invest it with our dreams, we touch it offhandedly as we walk by, we crown it with favorite photos and treasured objects until it becomes a kind of domestic shrine. But when it is gone from our lives, it can’t really be replaced, not for what it encompasses as part of life’s progress … We can start over and a good instrument will still open the way to the realm of music. But the associative power of this thing, this great hulk of wood and metal, resides in the individual specimen.”

The reverence with which he writes makes me yearn for my own piano (which currently sits no more than 15 feet away).

Finally, no. 11 on my challenge—only because I thought it lost forever.

And with that, on the very last day of 2015, I complete my very first year-long book challenge. Happy New Years!