Archive | August, 2012

Let the Countdown Begin!

28 Aug

There are a BUNCH of things coming out this fall that I can’t wait to read – and one comes out on Tuesday, September 4th.

I have an author-crush on Zadie Smith. Not only is she beautiful and funky and creative, she is also a fab writer. White Teeth came out a while ago – and immediately I loved the cover (which initially arrived with 4 differently colored jackets). I picked it up and put it down about three times before I got sucked into it completely, and I’ve been a fan of hers ever since. I can’t wait to get my hands on this!

Childhood Playthings

21 Aug

This is not the cover I saw at the bookstore – and NOT the cover that was on the advance copy I read (the advance copy was primary colors – Room-like). I flew through this book when it was handed to me by our area’s Macmillan Rep. He said “Did you like Room by Emma Donoghue? Then you’ll love this.” And I did love Room. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend is a little different – like Room in reverse. And the narrator has the ability to pass through doors and see everything. Because he’s the imaginary friend of the main boy. His voice is less of a child’s voice than Room was written in, but still sort of naive and innocent. I agree with the Rep, if you loved Room, you’ll like this. You should read it. It’s not as complex as I found Room to be, but it is still a page turner.

A Week’s Worth of Reading…

20 Aug

I feel like I haven’t finished a book in ages. AGES. So when I read three books this week (don’t be too impressed, two were children’s books), I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and relief at having recovered my reading time.

The cover of Goodbye for Now caught my eye as I was browsing the other day, and the blurb on the jacket intrigued me. Here is the premise: A computer geek creates an algorithm that matches people up (via the online dating service he works for) with their soulmates. He, of course, uses it to find HIS soulmate and falls madly in love. Shortly thereafter, Meredith (his soulmate) suffers the loss of her grandmother and is plunged into a grief-fueld funk. SO, Sam, our brilliant computer geek, decides to “help” by creating a computer program that would bring Granny back from the dead – at least virtually. It works so well that they decide to go into business with their Dead Mail project (called RePose) – to mixed reviews. There are some (well, one) big surpises that caught me off guard and I think that Laurie Frankl did a good job of exploring all of the issues that might come up when you bring someone back from the dead. I’d give it a 3/5.

 Tom Angleberger is one of my recent obessions. If you have  or know any 4th-grade and up children who haven’t read the  first in this series (The Strange Case of Origami Yoda), they are missing out. The third one, Secret of the Fortune Wookie, is not my favorite of the series, but does all the set up work for a fantastic 4th.

 

Rebecca Stead won the Newbery for her last one, When You Reach Me, which was stupendous. So I was thrilled to see this one on the shelves. The main characters in this are boys – but it is a pretty tender-hearted spy story so I think girls will like it too. I cried, at the end.

Scare Me.

10 Aug

There must be something about summer, about summer vacations, that have people ready to be spooked by books. In the past week, two of my lovely, artsy, giggly, girly, beautiful cousins emailed me begging for the Scariest Book I’d Ever Read. Having just read “Gone Girl,” I told them to read that first. And since then, I’ve been thinking of what would be on my list of Scariest Ever books. As you can probably tell by my other posts, I don’t read a ton of spooky stuff so coming up with a list took me a little while. I also realized that I read LOTS of really dark stuff, but that none of it is very Oh-My-Gosh scary…so while this list may be MY scariest, if you read tons of spooky stuff it might seem tame.

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon. Get past the gruesome first chapter and you’ll be hooked. Total twist ending took me by surprise.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens. Girl-gets-snatched with a killer twist. Turns out I think these stories are scary, because there are a couple on my list.

We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver. This book is SO unsettling. So terrible. And also sort of timely.

Wild Justice by Phillip Margolin. I read this one forever ago – and read it about four times. At the time, I thought it was the scariest thing I’d ever read.

The Collector by John Fowles. Here is another of those Girl-Goes-Missing stories, but this time from the point of view of the man who snatches her. Very spooky.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. A creepy old house, a strange family, weird things start to happen and things get spooky.

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo. I listened to this and the reader did a great job of making it scary. It is a Swedish detective who uncovers a serial killer that strikes on the first snow.

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton. I’ve written about this before, but the farther I get from it, the scarier it is.

The Age of Edith Wharton

6 Aug

Confesttion: I have never read an Edith Wharton novel. Another confession: I had never read a Hemingway novel until AFTER I read The Paris Wife.

And that is the most obvious comparison to draw with this book. Just like Paris Wife, it takes place in Paris. It also has a love story, a love affair, and involves many of the people who were making cultural waves at the time.  Although there were some parts that I found a little slow, that dragged a bit, I really enjoyed Age of Desire. The novel goes back and forth between Edith’s viewpoint and that of her governess-turned-friend-turned-literary advisor, Anna Bahlmann. The crux of the storyline revolves around the love affair that begins between the prude old Edith (who is 45 when the book begins) and a younger, dashing journalist named Morton Fullerton. Having never experienced such overpowering feelings of passion and love, Edith’s world becomes consumed, and then begins to crack and crumble. Her marriage falls apart, her lifelong friendship with Anna begins to deteriorate….and it goes from there.