Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper: Publishers' Weekly didn't review this book favorably, but so far I like it. I remember Cooper's coverage of Katrina; he really seemed to care about what was happening along the Gulf Coast. He takes the disasters he's covered (the tsunami in Asia, Katrina, and Iraq) and weaves his own personal history of loss into these tales. These large scale disasters awaken him to the smaller losses he'd experienced, and, probably for the first time, allow him to accept those losses and find a place for them. Yes, he's made himself part of the story, but this book is about him, not about the news, so that's appropriate.
The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King: Sometimes I like books about groups of women friends who've been friends a long time; sometimes they just wear on me. This one wears on me. The Same Sweet Girls have been friends since college and now, in their 50s, they get together twice a year. There are six women in the group but two of them are completely unnecessary to the tale and some of them I can't tell apart from the others. Even the two whose voices are used to tell the tale are not distinguishable from each other. The women all learn to deal with a major issue through one of the characters, but I knew what the issue was going to be and what the outcome would be as soon as I met the character. How boring is that! I should have saved this for beach reading.
On my bedside table:
Now is the Time to Open Your Heart: Alice Walker
Running Blind: Lee Child
Bee Season: Myla Goldberg
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: Lisa See