Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April (first half) 2016 Reads

More non-fiction than usual for me this month.

Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist ; Rioux, Anne Boyd
Fine biography of someone I never heard of. (Maybe I would have known who she was if I knew more about the biography of Henry James). Library book.

A  Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power ; Fischer, Paul
One of those "The truth is stranger than fiction" tales. If it weren't true, someone would have to make it up. Library book.

Animal Internet: Nature and the Digital Revolution ; Pschera, Alexander; Elisabeth Lauffer (Translator)   
Interesting look at the separation of man and nature, and the role Internet and smart phones in bringing us closer.  My copy.

Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran ; Secor, Laura
A look at the political strugles in Iran since the 1979 Revolution. Library book.

 A Wild Swan: And Other Tales ; Cunningham, Michael; Yuko Shimizu (Illustrator)
Not exactly retellings of fairy tales but, rather, expansions of the stories. Nicely illustrated. An enjoyable read. Library book.

About Grace ; Doerr, Anthony
Love his writing but parts of this were a bit over the top. Library book.

The Blue Guitar ; Banville, John
Maybe not Banville's best, but what gorgeous sentences. Library book.

The Summer Before the War ; Simonson, Helen
OK, nothing special. Library book.

The Story of My Teeth ; Luiselli, Valeria; Christina MacSweeney (Translation)
This didn't impress me at all. Didn't like the title, the cover, the format, the writing--
Library book.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

March (second half) 2016 Reads

Wow, it's April already! (Why did it snow last night?)

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours ; Oyeyemi, Helen
Locked doors, locked books, strange keys--all presented in nine interlocked stories. The opening story is a real stunner. Library book
Contents; Books and roses -- "Sorry" doesn't sweeten her tea -- Is your blood as red as this? -- Drownings -- Presence -- A brief history of the homely wench society -- Dornicka and the St. Martin's Day goose -- Freddy Barrandov checks...in? -- If a book is locked there is probably a good reason for that don't you think.

Pig's Foot  ; Acosta, Carlos; Frank Wynn (translator)
A Cuban family saga complete with history, myth, and magic. a good story. Library book.

The Last Weynfeldt ; Suter, Martin; Steph Morris (Translation)
What a bunch of rogues! Really there's no one we should like, but, well, we like them. A prig, a forger, a liar, a schemer, a double-crosser, gossipy servants, and a plot that's almost too silly. What fun! My copy.

This Census-Taker ; MiƩville, China
I really enjoyed this even though I'm really not sure what was happening. I really like the way the narrator switched voices--sometimes in the middle of a sentence he goes from "me' to "he" when speaking about himself. Unsure of himself, his identity. Library book.

All Things Cease to Appear ; Brundage, Elizabeth
The ratings on Goodreads are all over the place on this psychological drama. It's not exactly a who-done-it, it's more of a how and why and is there any proof. I couldn't put it down for long. Library Book.

Lila (Gilead, #3) ; Robinson, Marilynne
Not anything I thought I would like, but I did. Excellent writing, a tale well told even though it's full of  churchy religious thought. It's labeled #3 but it stands alone. Perhaps I'll take a look at the others. Library book.

Sweetgirl ; by Travis Mulhauser
A promising debut novel. If one wants a "genre" classifications,  I'd call this "grit lit plus chick lit"  but it's so much more. Library book.

After the Fire, a Still Small Voice ; Wyld, Evie
Unsettling, beautifully written multi-generational tale of Australian men dealing with memories of war. Library book.

For the Love of Meat: Nine Illustrated Stories ; Jaeckel, Jenny
A good collection of stories. The settings are diverse in time and place. The characters are also diverse--a nun, a monk, immigrants in Canada, Sixteenth Century Polish nobility, African Americans in 1940s Philadelphia. The stories have gentle twists and are illustrated with whimsical drawings, though at times I wondered what some of the drawings had to do with the accompanying tales.  A fun book to read. Advance review copy through LibraryThing early Reviewers program.