The Well-Read Wife Book of The Year: A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano

A Good Hard Look CoverWhen I look back on my reading life over the past year one book stays at the front of my mind. I try to tell myself I don’t have an absolute favorite book from the past year. The books are like children. It’s impossible to pick and choose a favorite. But then this line sounds in my mind:

You don’t know her. She’ll size you up like you’re made of dollars and cents. She’ll count you up and reckon how much of you she can use.

It’s a line from A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano. A character says it in reference to Flannery O’Connor – a fictionalized version of Flannery O’Connor. This line has haunted me all year long. Every time I sit down and start to write fiction or a poem it’s there in my mind…taunting me.

But that’s not the only reason it was my favorite of the year. One awesome line does not a good book make. A Good Hard Look is the kind of book I wanted my friends to read. I found myself purchasing every copy of it at my local B&N, pressing it into the hands of my friends. My dad described it as an “event book.” The book is sailing along and then BAM! something happens. An event takes everyone’s world, shatters it to pieces.

I am probably partial to this book because I’m a Southern girl. I even had an A Good Hard Look themed Med Alliance meeting at my house a few months ago. Here are a couple of pictures from it:

A Good Hard Look

A Good Hard Look 2

I reviewed this book for BlogHer Book Club. I probably would not have had a chance to find the time to read this book if not for the BlogHer Book Club. Isn’t it funny how things work out sometimes? You can read my original review here.

A Good Hard Look is published by The Penguin Press. Visit Ann Napolitano’s website by clicking here and follow her on Twitter here.

Sometime later today or tomorrow I am going to post a list of my ten favorite books of the year. Be on the lookout for that.

Also, if you enjoyed this post consider going here and clicking “like.”

What was your favorite book of the year?  Let me know in the comments section.


  1. says

    It’s so hard to choose! I did thoroughly enjoy Hillary Jordan’s “When She Woke” though. Definitely at the top of my list this year.

    And I’ll have to take your recommendation on this one. Have a great New Years’ Eve and New Year of course.

    • Mandy B says

      I liked that one too. I haven’t had a chance to write about it yet though. The past month has been crazy! I can’t wait for things to slow down post holidays, so I can catch up on some writing I need to do…

  2. says

    I haven’t heard of this novel, Mandy. Do you think I’d enjoy it even if I’m not a Southern girl? I think my favorite read of the year was surprisingly a biography titled Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Quite an amazing story.

    • Mandy B says

      I think you’ll like A Good Hard Look a lot. It’s definitely not just for Southern girls! haha
      I’ll have to check out Unbroken. I love a good biography!


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