Friday, March 21, 2008

Recently Read

Here are the books I've read recently. I'm too lazy to link to their Amazon sites, so you're on your own there.

1. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. This is about a boy whose brother kills two men and goes on the lam. His family sets out for the badlands to find the brother. This was a good book, although I doubt the boy's nine-year-old sister could have written such inspired poetry. Still, I enjoyed this one.

2. What You Have Left by Will Allison. This received great reviews, but I found it to be just so-so.

3. Shem Creek by Dorothea Benton Frank. This was a light, fluffy read.

4. Louisiana Power and Light by John DuFresne. Interesting and enjoyable, but not great.

5. This One and Only Life by Anne Carroll George. Frankly, I don't remember anything about this one, but I made it all the way through, so it must have been okay.

6. South of Reason by Cindy Eppes. About a family with way too many secrets. Pretty good.

7. Bruiser by Ian Chorao. This one is set in the 70s and is about a kid who runs away from home. Interesting, but not great.

8. Cage of Stars by Jaquelyn Mitchard. About a young woman facing tragedy. This one was good.

9. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. Pretty good. A little heavy on the environmental message.

10. The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig. This author is pegged as a writer of "Westerns", which I usually do not like, but I really enjoyed this book, perhaps the most of anything I've read so far this year. There was a plot twist at the end that was really unnecessary (and which you could see coming from the beginning of the book), but I still enjoyed this one. I'm currently reading his memoir, which is also interesting.

Here's what I tried to read, and could not get through:

1. Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler. Meh. None of the characters were particularly likable, so I lost interest and gave up about halfway through.

2. Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West. I usually like her stuff, but I could not get more than 40 pages into this one.

3. Brother Odd by Dean Koontz. I had never read any of his stuff, but gave this one a try while I was in Texas. No thanks.

4. Julia's Chocolates by Cathy Lamb. Chick lit - blecchh. Made it to page 90 and had to quit.

5. Mother Road by Dorothy Garlock. Started out promising, but quickly degenerated into a Harlequin Romance-type book. Nope.

6. The Southern Belles of Honeysuckle Way by Linda Bruckheimer. I really liked her book "Dreaming Southern", but I could not fight my way through this one. Just one cliche after another. I actually left this book in Texas.

So! There you have it! What I've read, and tried to read, since the first of the year. Any recommendations?


Kerri said...

Anything by Jodi Picoult. Very, very good reads!

Rockycat said...

I read "Nineteen Minutes" by her and enoyed it - maybe I should give something else of hers a try. Thanks for the advice!

historyprof0 said...

I really like Ivan Doig's work --give the McCaskill trilogy a try (English Creek et al).

I've read a couple of Jane Austen novels (Mansfield Park, Persuasion -- the latter for the first time), a couple of social histories of the 19th century that would make great movies (Kingdom of Matthias, Murder of Helen Jewett, Sam Patch), a lot of books for work, and a few works of new fiction. The first thirty pages of "Rowdy in Paris" by Tim Sandlin were excellent, but it wound up as a big shaggy dog story. I guess one shouldn't complain when a cowboy story takes a dogleg into bullshit (the nature of the beast, in a sense), but I get so little time to read fiction that I get aggravated when it isn't good.

Vita said...

Yes. Have you read The Sea Runners by Ivan Doig?

Rockycat said...

All I've read by Ivan Doig so far is The Whistling Season and This House of Sky, so it looks like I'll be giving more of his stuff a try!

listie said...

I'm on a Tracy Chevalier binge: The Lady and the Unicorn and Falling Angels in the past couple of weeks (along with some novels too trashy and embarassing to mention). Back to the library tomorrow to get the next installment of Tracy Chevalier.