5 Star Reads


If we post a review of a book here at 5 Minutes for Books, it means that we think that someone out there would like it. It may not have been our favorite book, but it was worth our time to read and review, and we hope someone likes it. We wanted to distinguish our “must reads,” and so we’ve given them the special 5 Star Reads designation.

Reviewed in 2014 (sorted by genre, then author):


Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy
The Art of Arranging Flowers by Lynne Branard
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
The Never Never Sisters by L. Alison Heller
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
One Plus One by JoJo Moyes
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Non-Fiction and Memoir:

The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg
Soul Keeping by John Ortberg
God is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Jennifer Rothschild
Drama High by Michael Sokolove

Children and Young Adult

Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell

Reviewed in 2013 (sorted by genre, then author):


The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
All You Could Ask For by Mike Greenberg
Courting Greta by Ramsey Hootman
A Guide for the Perplexed by Dara Horn
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
This is Paradise by Kristiana Kahakauwila
Truth in Advertising by John Kenney
The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg
The Experts by Chris Pavone
Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

Non-Fiction and Memoir:

Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra
We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook by Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph
I am a Church Member by Thom S. Rainer

Children and Young Adult

Beyond the Paw Paw Trees by Palmer Brown
Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Bedtime Math by Laura Overdeck
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Paperboy by Vince Vawter

Reviewed in 2012 (sorted by genre, then author):


Astray by Emma Donoghue
Falling Together by Marisa De Los Santos
All That I Am by Anna Funder
I, Iago by Nicole Galland
Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
11/22/63 by Stephen King
The Dragon Keeper by Minda Mejia
The Starlite Drive-in by Marjorie Reynolds
The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe

Non-Fiction and Memoir:

Stasiland by Anna Funder
I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
The Queen: A Life in Brief by Robert Lacey
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Children and Young Adult

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans
Prophet by R. J. Larson
Life with Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher

Reviewed in 2011 (sorted by genre, then title):


The Fates will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley
The Long Song by Andrea Levy
Night Road by Kristin Hannah
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Q: A Novel by Evan Mandery

Non-Fiction and Memoir:

5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son by Vicki Courtney
Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein
Stasiland by Anna Funder
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Where You Left Me by Jennifer Gardner Trulson
The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure

Children and Young Adult:

Amazing Cows by Sandra Boynton
Blackout by John Rocco
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
My Name Is Not Alexander by Jennifer Fosberry
Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf by Olivia Bouler
Press Here by Herve Tullet
Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party by Melanie Watt
Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
Thunder Birds: Nature’s Flying Predators by Jim Arnosky
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Reviewed in 2010 (sorted by genre, then title):


Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace
Finny by Justin Kramon
Secret Daughter by Shilpa Somaya Gowda
Small Wars by Sadie Jones
So Much For That by Lionel Shriver
The Stuff that Never Happened by Maddie Dawson
Vanishing by Deborah Willis

Non-Fiction and Memoir:

Bonhoeffer: A Biography by Eric Metaxes
Brave Girl Eating by Harriet Brown
The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
Every Natural Fact by Amy Lou Jenkins
The Heroine’s Bookshelf by Erin Blakemore
I Will Carry You by Angie Smith
Little Girls Can Be Mean by Drs. Anthony and Lindert
Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes
Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
This is Not the Story You Think it Is by Laura Munson
The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy
We’ve Got Issues by Judith Warner

Children and Young Adult

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
Betsy Red Hoodie by Gail Carson Levine
D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet by Nancy Sanders
The Frog Scientist by Pamela Turner
Guys Read: Funny Business edited by Jon Scieszka
How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart
I Didn’t Do It! by Patricia MacLachlan
Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation by Matt Myklusch
The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl
Scarecrow Pete by Mark Kimball Moulton
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
The Tighty Whitey Spider Poems by Kenn Nesbitt
Up We Grow: A Year in the Life of a Small, Local Farm by Deborah Hodge
Written in Bone by Sally Walker

5 Star Reads, reviewed prior to 2010 (sorted by category and author):


The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker
After You by Julie Buxbaum
Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger
Hannah’s Dream by Diane Hammond
The Rook by Steven James
Stealing with Style by Emyl Jenkins
Small Wars by Sadie Jones
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Godmother by Carolyn Turgeon
The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Memoir and Biography:

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
My Prison, My Home by Haleh Esfandiari
Boy Alone by Karl Taro Greenfeld
Clara’s War by Clara Kramer
Coop by Michael Perry
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Scratch Beginnings by Adam Shepherd
How to Be Like Walt by Pat Williams
Dough by Mort Zachter


Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merriman
On the Go Devotional: Contentment by Lydia Brownback
The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies
Finding An Unseen God by Alicia Britt Chole
5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney
Stubborn Twig, by Lauren Kessler
The Uncommon Woman: Making an Ordinary Life Extraordinary by Susie Larson
Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy
The Grand Weaver, by Ravi Zacharias

Children’s Books — ages 0 – 3, 3 – 6, 6 – 9:

My Name Is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry
The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller
Tiana’s Cookbook: Recipes for Kids edited by Cindy Littlefield
Eye Like and Incredible Books by Play Bac Publishing
Little Hoot and Little Pea, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems
All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon

Children’s Books — ages 9 – 12:

Savvy by Ingrid Law
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, by Trenton Lee Stewart

Books for Tweens and Teens:

The Hunger Games & Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Much Ado About Anne by Heather Vogel Frederick
Meet the Austins by Madeleine L’Engle
Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell
The Strictest School in the World series by Howard Whitehouse
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams


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