Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Holly's Inbox by Holly Denham (#18)

This is an interesting book, very light reading. The entire book consists of email correspondence between Holly, a young single Londoner, and her friends and family. Holly is starting a new job as a receptionist in a large company, finds herself juggling boyfriends and family situations in a very humorous way. Holly could be best friends with Bridget Jones. I read this book at the same time as I was reading a couple of other books and enjoyed it though there was nothing very compelling or memorable about it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Politician by Andrew Young (#17)

This is a fascinating book. The author, Andrew Young, went to work for John Edwards more than 10 years ago, becoming very close to him and his family, assisting Edwards in his campaigns for Senate and for the Presidency, becoming best friends. For many years Young was full of optimism that Edwards was a sincere politician with the best interests of the public, especially the poor and struggling, at heart. As time went on, it became apparent that fame and adulation had changed Edwards and his wife so that they forgot the people around them and became self focused. Most distressing was when Young realized that Edwards was making fool hearty and dangerous personal decisions, beginning a liaison with a younger and uncontrollable woman while his wife reportedly had terminal cancer. Young was asked to cover this problem in a way that should never have been asked by anyone. I recommend this book. I am reminded that we cannot trust anyone, and those in public life must be scrutinized very closely because fame corrupts.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Roses by Leila Meacham (#16)

Very enjoyable and reminiscent of "Gone With the Wind", "Roses" is set in Howbutker, Texas and concerns the lives of the three founding families of the town. Mary Dumont is a southern belle, obsessed with maintaining Somerset, the cotton plantation she inherits from her father. Because of the inheritance, Mary loses the affections of her brother and mother, and her passionate love for Oliver, another member of a founding family, is very troubled. The book in just over 600 pages follows the families through three generations with unresolved issues continuing until all is concluded at the very end. I heartily recommend this book.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk (#15)

The setting is a psychiatric hospital in modern day Sevilla, Spain. A very disturbed patient is brought into the hospital, claiming to be Christopher Columbus. His nurse Consuela is mystified by Columbus's detailed stories of his life and experiences preparing for his voyage to the new world. As the story progresses, she finds her feelings for her patient become personal and begin to cross the line of what is appropriate.
I struggled a bit with the first half of this book because it often confusingly changes between modern times and Columbus's time, 500 years ago. For example there may be a scene seemingly set in the late 1400's but also including Starbucks or cell phones. I kept thinking, where is this book going and why is it so highly rated by so many people? If it hadn't been so highly acclaimed, I might have given up. But I'm glad I persisted; the ending is extremely satisfying and now I can recognize the poetic and beautiful writing.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky (14)

Susan is a high school principal in a small eastern town where three high school girls, including her daughter Lily, make a pact to become pregnant and have babies. Susan is shaken by the news and the town initially has a very negative response, feeling the mothers of the girls are responsible, and that Susan might not be fit for her job.
Barbara Delinsky is one of my favorite authors. I enjoyed this book but found some of the actions of the people in the book a little far-fetched. Some of her previous books were more believable and compelling.