Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Widow's Season by Laura Brodie (#13)

Sarah's husband died three months before his ghost began appearing to her. She is confused, mourning her husband, trying to figure out how to deal with her life, and it's unclear what role the "ghost" is playing. I found this book mildly entertaining, confusing at times, not really compelling to read. There is a little surprise at the end that helps.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias (12)

Reading this book was an experience. For the first 50 or so pages, I was not drawn into the story, then as the book progresses, I was more and more drawn in, until by the end of the book, it was like I was there and experiencing the events in a mesmerizing way rather than just reading a book.
A Happy Marriage is the story of an almost 30 year relationship beginning when Enrique as a young man meets his future wife Margaret. It then flashes back and forth in alternating chapters as Margaret is dying from cancer while Enrique is caring for her. This fictionalized account actually happened in real life to the author, undoubtedly making this story really compelling. I not only enjoyed this book, but I feel like I experienced it, suffered with both Enrique and Margaret as the final days came. It is very well written and I highly recommend it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Three Books Read on Vacation

We just returned from a week on the beach at Playa del Carmen. I spent relaxing days reading and completed three books:

Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler (2-05-2010)(#9) Liam is a 60 year old man with a checkered past who is suddenly forced to retire from his teaching job. The story concerns his adventures as he downsizes his living quarters and has a new relationship. I enjoyed this very much but I was hoping for more resolution in the end.

No Time to Wave Goodbye by Jacquelyn Mitchard (2-07-10)(#10)This is a sequel to The Deep End of the Ocean which I read a few years ago. It is well done but I think wouldn't hold the interest if you hadn't read the first book. It has some suspense and is well written.

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher (2-10-10)(#11) This is a rereading of an old favorite, like a visit to the Scottish countryside, the perfect book to read on the beach.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi (8)

This graphic novel is the continuation of the autobiography of a young girl growing up in revolutionary Iran, a repressive society, and how she copes with her situation. It is well done.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow (7)

This novel is based on real people and an actual situation. Homer and Langley are two brothers who grew up on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Langley went to WWI, was injured, and Homer lost his sight. After their parents died, they muddled through their lives for awhile but then grew more and more eccentric. Langley walked out through the city, finding various castoff items plus newspapers which he brought home and began to fill up their house. The house became more and more filled as the brothers' eccentricities grew. This is a very sad story of probably mental illness and dysfunction. It is written very well and a very good book.