Thursday, May 01, 2014

April 2014 Reads

Overall, April was a good reading month for me. Some really good stuff, some fun reads, and only a few disappointments. All were library books unless otherwise noted.

 These three are discussed in my post Something to Hide. (all 3 my copies)
Sworn Virgin by Dones, Elvira (trans. Clarissa Botsford)
The Combover by Bravi, Adrián N. (trans. Richard Dixon)
Happiness is Possible by Zaionchkovsky, Oleg  (trans. Andrew Bromfield)

 Next three excellent!
The Dog Stars by Heller, Peter
  Dystopian after the disaster, set in Colorado
In Paradise, Matthiessen, Peter
 Reflections on the Death Camps 
The Guest Cat by Hiraide, Takashi  (trans. Eric Selland)
 A gentle tale

Next two good, but not great. 
That Summer by Willig, Lauren (ARC from publisher)
 Chick-lit fluff set in London

Death of the Black-Haired Girl by Stone, Robert
  Mystery, academic setting

 I read these next five, in the order listed, for a 24 hour Read-a-thon. Liked them all. All  very different, which was what I needed for this. I should have read something else for final read, I don't feel I was alert enough to appreciate Mr D, Will re-read.
The Train to Warsaw by Edelman, Gwen
 WW2 ghetto survivors return to Warsaw after 40 years.
The Vacationers by Straub, Emma (ARC from publisher)
 Good treatment of an unfun family vacation on Mallorca.
This Dark Road to Mercy by Cash, Wiley
 Unfit father kidnaps his children from foster home, is pursued by bad guys, good guy dx-cop, & FBI.  Is better than the summary sounds. 
The Wives of Los Alamos by Nesbit, TaraShea
 Life in the compound where the research & testing of the A-bomb was done during
WW2. Told in multiple POV in the style of The Buddha in the Attic. Works well for me.  
Mr Darwin's Gardener by Carlson, Kristina (trans. Emily Jeremiah & Fleur Jeremiah) Must re-read this when I'm not falling asleep. (purchased)
  Didn't care much for these two:  
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Ferris, Joshua (ARC from publisher)
  Is it possible to be more boring than Karl Ove? Yes, but at least this was shorter. 
Textile by Castel-Bloom, Orly (trans. Dalya Bilu)

Short stories
  All of these were good 
The Heaven of Animals: Stories by Poissant, David James
 Stories, somewhat linked, ordinary people bear unbearable losses.
Soulstorm by Lispector, Clarice (trans. Alexis Levitin)
 I liked the first better than the last half.
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by Novak, B.J.
 Off beat, goofy at times. Fun to read

   Really, really liked the SF one.  Was disappointed by the two about Paris. Paris itself has never bored me, but the DeJean book did. I did not like Mazzeo's writing style.
The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature by Tarnoff, Ben
How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City by DeJean, Joan.
The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death, and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris by Mazzeo, Tilar J.

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