Friday, June 10, 2011

May Reads

Now You See Her by Joy Fielding - 5/5/2011 
Good ~ Mystery
Middle-aged and in the middle of a divorce, Marcy travels to Ireland on what was meant to be a second honeymoon and sees what appears to be her daughter who was declared dead two years before.
I enjoyed this - I needed a captivating mystery and this was just the thing.

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier - 5/7/2011
Fair ~ Fiction
What if pain manifested as light that everyone could see? A handwritten journal serves as the common thread that links several otherwise unrelated vignettes in this book that has no clear resolution.
The vignettes were entertaining, and the premise promising, but I kept waiting for something to tie everything together at the end.... and..... and.....
Don't bother.

I Saw the Angel in the Marble by Chris & Ellyn Davis - 5/13/2011 
Excellent ~ Nonfiction
A collection of essays on the purpose and delight-directed methods of home education.
I've been working on this (borrowed!) book off and on for several years.Well worth reading, it will change the way you think about education and life with children. I need a copy of my own and I'm going to start over. The only problem? Now, I realize I'm doing an awful lot of things wrong. lol

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin ~ 5/23/2011
Good ~ Chick Lit
Rachel falls in love with her bitchy best friend's fiance.
Really not my favorite book. Neither main character was very likable. We got to hear Rachel's thoughts, so she was clearly meant to be sympathetic, but, well, she wasn't.

The Slumber of Christianity by Ted Dekker - 5/26/2011 
Excellent ~ Nonfiction
Awakening a passion for heaven on earth.
Dekker points out how the Church has fallen asleep and needs to remember our hope in Jesus is our eternal life in heaven, not our earthly blessings. Worthwhile and accessible read. I highly recommend this short book by the author of many Christian novels.

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper - 5/26/2011 
Fair ~ Classic
French and Indian War, frail white girls being guided to a frontier fort where their father is commander
Hated it. Only finished it so it wouldn't be the only book club book I hadn't finished! Wordy, boring, and pompous.

Bossypants by Tina Fey - 5/30/2011 
Good ~ Humor
Musings on Life and Career from comedian, writer, and producer Tina Fey.
Tina is as funny in writing as she is on stage. Her liberal slant was off-putting at first to me as a more conservative reader (probably more like her Republican parents than Tina herself), but it seemed like she set aside her agenda and got down to the memoirs after the first chapter or two. I laughed out loud a lot. The reason I read this book was the last chapter "Prayer for My Daughter" which I had read online and loved.

LEFT Neglected by Lisa Genova - 5/31/2011 
Good ~ Fiction
Career-driven supermom Sarah Nickerson suffers a traumatic brain injury and her life changes.
Such an unusual brain injury piqued my interest and I wondered how the author would treat the changes in this harried working mom's life. I enjoyed it, though I thought parts of the narrative seemed to be skipped over. 

What are YOU reading?

April Reads

I keep reading, but I've been forgetting to finish these blog posts! Here are my April reads. 

Madame Tussaud: A novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran - 4/2/2011 
Good ~ Historical Fiction
Marie Grosholtz works with her uncle in their Salon filled with wax models and has a front row view of the Revolution in France.
This one seemed like a bit of a chore to get through. I enjoyed it though, so perhaps that was just the fact that I hadn't had a lot of reading time and it was a LONG book. Marie was an strong and talented female character in a time when strength and talent in females was not so much appreciated. The plot was based on the true story of Madame Tussaud's Waxworks.

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok - 4/4/2011 
Good ~ Fiction
Kim emigrates to America from Hong Kong and works in a sweatshop with her mother.
For about 2/3 of the book, I thought this was a true story.  Instead of a memoir, though, this is a work of fiction based in the author's experiences as an immigrant child working in American sweatshops in the 70's.  I was just amazed that such things could happen within my lifetime and in my country.

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell - 4/8/2011 
Excellent ~ Classic
Molly grows up motherless in rural England in the mid-1800's. When she is a teenager, her doctor father remarries and Molly must adjust to life with a demanding stepmother and a stepsister with a mysterious past. The local gentry come to rely on Molly, but what will her future hold?
The movie was wonderful, and the book was really good as well. I didn't realize until after I started reading that this book was left unfinished at the author's death. The ending was reconstructed from her notes and conversations.

Waiting: the true confessions of a waitress by Debra Ginsburg - 4/12/2011 
Excellent ~ Nonfiction
The author's memoirs of twenty years of waitressing in establishments as varied as a family-owned pizzeria, a dance club, and a ritzy restaurant.
I've never waitressed, but Ginsburg writes of her trials and tribulations as a waitress clearly so that I feel like I'm right in the restaurant watching her. She also obviously enjoys her work, as she has been a server for more than 20 years. Very interesting story.

Run by Ann Patchett - 4/19/2011
Excellent ~ Fiction
Teddy and Tip were adopted cross-racially and a car accident twenty years later changes their lives.
This one was a slow starter, but I'm glad I stuck with it. The relationships and characters were interesting.

Year of Wonders: a novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks - 4/25/2011
Excellent ~ Historical Fiction
Anna's village is infected with Plague in 1666 and the villagers, influenced by the local minister, choose to quarantine themselves.
This one gets a lot of critical acclaim and I almost thought of it as a young adult novel. It's too graphic for that, I think, though. I personally was displeased with the statement about religion but the novel was well-written and interesting.

What are YOU reading?