Some of My Favorite Books

Monday, November 29, 2010

Disobedience by Jane Hamilton

I was about to finish this book last night, lying in bed, but I was tired, beginning to fade. I wanted to give Disobedience its rightful due, so I stuck the makeshift bookmark, a drawing by my grandson of a musical staff, if that's what it's called, and a treble clef and another musical symbol (??) with a smiley face, back in my book.

I got up this morning anticipating finishing the book. I made a pot of coffee and got a blueberry muffin and sat down to read the final 20 or so pages. It was worth the 8-hour wait. If you've never read Jane Hamilton's books, I think you should. Even though she writes what I think will become known as literature, not just fiction, her books are highly readable (unlike some stuffy books, to me anyway, that live through the ages) and engaging.

An article about Disobedience in the Wisconsin Academy Review is "Jane Hamilton Gets Naughty:  Her new novel, Disobedience, takes a nuanced, witty look at adultery and family ties." Yep, that about sums it up.

Book Read:  Disobedience
Author:  Jane Hamilton
ISBN:  0-385-50117-X 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Strange Fits of Passion by Anita Shreve

I love to read Anita Shreve's books, and Strange Fits of Passion did not disappoint. I really like her typical setting, New England, and her books are generally dark and so well written that I get drawn in and think about the book all through the day.

This book had a unique premise, a true-crime writer who wrote an article, then a book about a 1971 case that today would have been viewed entirely different. Shreve wrote Strange Fits of Passion in 1991, so I checked IMDB to see if a movie had been made of it. Nope. There is a movie by the same name but it's billed as "compelling" (that fits) and a "comedy" (that does not fit). Darn.

Book Read:  Strange Fits of Passion
Author:  Anita Shreve
ISBN:  978-0156-03139-4

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

When I started reading Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner, it was like deja vu all over again. I had just read Janelle Brown's All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

The two books have an eerie number of similarities:  a powerful cheating husband, a wife who's put her life on hold to take care of him, his career, their house, and their two daughters, two daughters in each book with their own set of problems. The younger one even gets pregnant, in each book. And she's named Lizzie in each book to boot! Hmmm.

But, since these two books were written (or at least published) around the same time, I guess this particular plot just was cycling through these two women's minds.

I like this author's writing. She's detailed enough to show the scenery, crafts good characters that are believable, and enough plot twists that aren't so obvious that you can predict with 100 percent accuracy what will happen.

Book Read:  Fly Away Home
Author:  Jennifer Weiner
ISBN:  978-0-7432-9427-0 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What I Didn't See and Other Stories by Karen Joy Fowler

I just finished reading this great book of short stories:  What I Didn't See and Other Stories by Karen Joy Fowler. I was surprised by how good this book was. Of course, I'd read Fowler's novel, The Jane Austen Book Club a few years ago and though I don't read Jane Austen, her novel was good. This collection of mostly creepy short stories was better! When Fowler added the sci-fi convention in The Jane Austen Book Club, she was staying true to her love, I think. This book reeked of sci-fi, which I don't usually read, but mostly enjoyed.

I especially liked the first short story, "The Pelican Bar." Very unsettling, made you think. All the good qualities of fiction.

Book Read:  What I Didn't See and Other Stories
Author:  Karen Joy Fowler
ISBN:  978-1-931520-68-3

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Janelle Brown

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Janelle Brown is another winner, though I liked This Is Where We Live better. I think All We Ever Wanted was just way too out there for me, with the crazy-selfish lives led by the three women at the center of this book.

The mother was a mess from day (page) one and progressively got worse till she was a wreck.Margaret, daughter No. 1, was someone I could relate to somewhat but turned out to be as big a flake as her mother, just in different ways. And poor, pitiful Lizzie, daughter No. 2 was also a hot mess that, with luck, will turn out all right.The father? A pig.

Book Read:  All We Ever Wanted Was Everything
Author:  Janelle Brown
ISBN:  978-0-385-52401-8


Related Posts with Thumbnails