Book Report

October 23rd

Bookcase at Cape MacLear

I’m back in a writing class that doubles as an intense book club. A few reviews of recent reads:

Queen of America: This is the follow-up novel to Hummingbird’s Daughter, written by Luis Alberto Urrea. HD is one of my favorite books in the last few years. Poetic writing about the desert southwest and Mexico grabs me every time. Queen is a great continuation of the story, but doesn’t quite grab the magic of the first book. All the same, if you love fiction set along the Arizona-Mexico border, or have a love of all things quirky Mexican (Nacho Libre, for example) — you’ll dig this. Read both. Three out of five bananas.

The White Tiger: I read this book on a flight across the country in a matter of hours. That isn’t to brag about my ability to read quickly, but at how funny and entertaining the book is. Aravind Adiga writes the story of a young chauffer living in India. The writing is sharp, funny and at times cruel. I really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to discussing it at the next book club. Four out of five bananas.

The Talented Mr. Ripley: this is the first of four books we are reading for the Lighthouse class, “Housewives and Evil Do-ers.” I liked the movie considerably more and found Tom Ripley as a character to be unbelievable. There was simply too much coincidence that went in his favor to make this story relevant today. The conversation we had last night about the book, however, was excellent. Have I mentioned how much I love Lighthouse? Too bad Mr. Ripley isn’t as entertaining. Two out of five bananas.

On deck:

The Paris Wife — for fun

and, Mrs. Bridge for the next class.

What have you read lately that rocked?

-K

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12 Responses

  1. Oh Lord, Queen of America. HATED it. You should have seen me at librarian book club after we read it — though, to be fair, others were frustrated too. Sorry. :(

  2. I love any books by Mitch Albom or Elizabeth Berg. Just read For one more day by Mitch Albom and finished it in a day! So good!

  3. Just flipped through a holiday decorating magazine in the grocery store — does that count?! Seriously, just ordered The White Tiger through Paperback Swap … not sure when I’ll read it but the intention is there ;-) Now go get yourself a copy of Midnight’s Children by Rushdie, so that we have that book in common too ;-)

  4. Ooh! Hawaii … I’ll read it on vacation in Hawaii! Score!

  5. The Paris Wife was fantastic! Loved The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. 11/22/63 was my first Stephen King novel and it was fab. Just started The Fault In Our Stars. Ahhhhh…so many books, so little time!

  6. “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a lovely book; fiction, about the difficulties of ageing out of the foster care system and also about the meaning of flowers. A really nice book and well-written. Great to read about the author afterwards as well.

    I also loved “As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto”, non-fiction, a series of letters between Julia and her best friend Ava. Not only do you see their friendship develop over time, but the things they discuss–politics, what it’s like to be an ambitious woman in the 50s, marriage, how to navigate one’s life–they were certainly women of substance. Made me long for the days when we did write long letters and not just brief emails. They corresponded for 3 years before ever meeting! And in a time when cooking and food was rapidly changing in America.

    Finally, “The NIght Circus” is stunning, beautiful imagery, interesting story. I wish it were real.

  7. I currently reading “Gillespie & I” and I’m about 3/4 through the book. I can’t even begin to describe it because it would give it all away. All I will say is that there are twists, turns and surprises and at this point in my reading, I don’t want to put it down.

  8. The Toss of a Lemon (Padma Viswanathan). A little long and meandering but the characters sucked me in nonetheless. Also thanks for the reading suggestions. Have I said that before? Yup, cuz I always love you and your readers’ book inspirations…..

  9. Paris Wife is on my list as well. My book club is currently reading the House of Hope series by Neta Jackson.

  10. I had book club today. We tend to read pretty mellow books for the most part but I love it when we can all sit around and discuss books (and the wine is good too ;))

  11. Anyone who reads this should immediately drop everything, acquire a copy of Junot Diaz’s This is how you lose her, and binge through it.

    Post. Haste.

  12. Ohhhh…thanks to everyone for the new reading list! Must go to Goodreads and update my “To Read” list!

    I’m currently reading ‘Life of Pi’ but finding it a slow start.

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