Book #44 was a reread - I know I have read it at least twice before, and maybe three times. The copy I have now was given to me by my husband the year before we got married. It's The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis.
There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
Book #45 was Sphinx's Princess, by Esther Friesner. I picked up this book because I and several of my students enjoyed Friesner's books about Helen of Troy, Nobody's Princess and Nobody's Prize. This one is about Nefertiti, also blessed/cursed with great beauty. I enjoyed it, though not as much as the Helen books.
Book #46 was Graceling, by Kristin Cashore. Katsa, the Graceling of the title, is a remarkable heroine. Cashore does a marvelous job of writing friendships, and the friendship between Katsa and Po is just exactly right (though it takes a turn which, in my opinion, makes this book a little mature for my middle schoolers).
This post is linked to the August 14th Saturday Review of Books.