Friday, June 10, 2011

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?

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