I knew within the first page that A Girl Name Zippy was my kind of book. Haven Kimmel's memoir of her youth growing up in a small town in Indiana is laugh-out-loud funny from the beginning to the end. At least, I thought so. Though the book is a memoir, it reads like a novel, or at least, a collection of deftly woven stories that keep you turning pages until the end. I couldn't put it down. Zippy (Haven's childhood nickname) is a precocious tomboy whose perspectives on life kept me in stitches. The only thing I regretted about the book was that Zippy had to grow up.
The second book I read and devoured was Quaker Summer, by Lisa Samson. Interestingly enough, if you look on my links, you'll see one for Lisa's website. She's "an author I admire." And she has been for a very long time. But though I keep up with her blog and admire the way she wrestles with real spiritual issues (from politics to social justice to living green, my kind of gal), I've never read one of her books. Until now. Quaker Summer was simply unbelievable. It made me think, it made me laugh, it made me cry. Go borrow it, buy it, or scam it from a friend, and read it. You'll be glad you did.