Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Okay, so I listened to this and didn't read it, therefore I will only count it in the end of the year total if I don't make my goal with books I read :)
Anyway, this book mostly confirmed my lack of desire to climb mountains that present any real danger. Krakauer recounts his experience climbing Mount Everest in the spring of 1996 (I was 8...). It was one of the deadliest years for Everest ever and in his story I think 12 people die. It was incredibly interesting to listen to and mildly horrifying to hear about the altitude illnesses and injuries that occur throughout his 6 weeks there. I definitely recommend this one.
My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveria
This is the story of a motivated midwife in the midst of the American Civil War. Mary Sutter longs to be a surgeon and goes to great lengths to do so. Her family suffers great loss as her brother and brother-in-law go off to war, her sister gets pregnant and Mary leaves her family to be a surgeon in the war despite her mother's pleadings not to. Oliveria even brings in famous political figures (hello, Lincoln!) and stories of battles (and horrific war injuries) into the story line. Not the best book of the year but a compelling read. It also made me glad I work in the 21st century where we wash our hands.
The Sisters by Nancy Jensen.
I read about this book in Entertainment Weekly (don't judge me!) where it got good reviews, so I decided to pick it up. Jensen tells the stories of two sisters whose lives are ripped apart by one horrific misunderstanding. There are some really dark events in the story, including rape and a lot of anger, and the whole time I wished I could just tell the sisters what happened so they could get over it. Overall its a well-written novel that I finished in about a week, but not one to pick up if you're in the mood for some light-hearted reading.