Well, I'm not sure what happened to my longer reviews as they have disappeared, but here is the quick & brief. ;-)
Smashed by Koren Zailckas A semi-autobiographical (?) tale of a young woman's adventures with alcohol. I think it is a fairly accurate portrayal of a many women's experiences in college; however, the book seemed to shift gears and moods too much. At times the author seems to glorify excessive drinking. Interesting, but uneven.
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond Halfway through this book, I thought, "I've got it already!" The book is a little broad in scope and covers many societies from Easter Islands to Mayan to Greenland. The basic premise is that the survival of societies is based on sustainability. Overall, an interesting argument that the future of humanity resides in our ability to live with Nature and not against.
Twisted: A Novel by Jonathan Kellerman Multiple murders, a tough cop, an mathematical genius intern, an assortment of personal issues thrown in with a possible serial killer. For those of the faint of heart, a little gruesome in the initial descriptions of the murder scenes but overall not so much, with good pacing, lively characters, and many plot twists. A good solid crime thriller.
The Donner Party Chronicles: A Day-by-Day Account of a Doomed Wagon Train, 1846-47 by Frank Mullen Reconstruction of actual letters, diary entries, interviews, supplemented by period newspaper writings about the wagon train, as well as photographs, etc. into a day to day diary format. Fascinating and heartbreaking. Definitely a good read for those interested in history, folklore/storytelling, or biographies.