Thursday, June 18, 2009

Recently Read

As usual, go ahead and skip this one if you want to.

Cavedweller by Dorothy Allison - Novel about a rock singer who returns to her hometown. I got about three-quarters of the way through before I realized I'd read it before, so obviously, it didn't make much of an impression, but it was still a good time-kill novel, i.e., when you don't have anything else to read and are too lazy busy to get to the library.

The Great Husband Hunt by Laurie Graham - Novel about a woman who was an obnoxious jerk. Blerrkk. (Sorry, Ms. Graham. It's just that the character was so unlikeable, it made me not like the book. And I know it was done for comic effect, but still ....... )

Snow Angels by Stewart O'Nan - Novel about the deaths of a daughter and her mother. O'Nan is always good.

Bound South by Susan Rebecca White - Novel about Southern women - meh.

So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger - This was a western, which I don't usually read, but I like this author, and the book was pretty good.

The Way the Crow Flies by Ann Marie MacDonald - Novel about a murder in a small Canadian air force town in the sixties - The beginning is good, and the ending has a real twist, but the middle was just so-so. I feel like it needed an editor willing to cut. A lot. 800 pages, for this particular book, was about 300 too many.

Now in November by Josephine Johnson - Originally published in 1934, this novel by a twenty-four-year-old won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Good book.

It Ain't All About the Cookin' by Paula Deen - Food Network chef's memoir - interesting. I've tried a couple of her recipes and they weren't all that great, but the book was okay.

Just After Sunset by Stephen King - Short stories, most of which were published elsewhere previously. I still think Stephen King is one of the best contemporary writers, although his early work is much stronger than his newer stuff. I just keep wishing he'd try a non-"horror genre" book, because I think it could be excellent.

Girlbomb by Janice Erlbaum - Memoir about an NYC teenager who becomes homeless - Interesting, and also very funny, believe it or not.

Monkeys by Susan Minot - Short novel about the breakdown of a New England family - Odd, but kind of interesting, and a quick read.

The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein - Memoir about a little boy growing up poor in England in the early 1900s - If you liked "Angela's Ashes", you'll like this one.

Tiger, Tiger by Galaxy Craze - Yet another coming-of-age novel - So-so.

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields - See post below. Do not put photos in a novel. Please.

You know, it's a good thing I have this blog, because I'm having a hard time remembering these books, not that long after I read them. But I'm a little gun-shy about hitting publish, now that I know that some authors, well, google themselves and pop in on sites that review them. On the other hand, it's just a blog. So whatevs.


Bridgett said...

Carol Shields will not be dropping in. She died in 2003.

If you were savaging a book and defaming the author (what the hell was this person thinking? My cats write better than that!), then I can see where you'd worry, but that's not the case. You're jotting down a reaction to the book in your reading journal, which you are letting the rest of us read. I think that knowing that one has readers and getting honest feedback is helpful to an author.

rockygrace said...

Ooops - I didn't know she died.

Frankly, anyone who can write a book and get it published is miles ahead of me, so I certainly don't mean to slam anybody. Just giving my opinion. :)

Janice Erlbaum said...

Hah! You'd think authors would have better things to do than google themselves. Like write books! I mean, what kind of egomaniac do you have to be...


RockyCat, thanks for the very kind review of Girlbomb. You're a prodigious reader, and I admire your taste very much. And Bridgett, you're right -- honest feedback is very valuable, even when it's not what you want to hear.

Okay! Back to writing books (googling myself).

rockygrace said...

Ooohhh, this is spooooooky!

Ms. Earlbaum, thank you very much for stopping by! I really enjoyed your book, and I hope you're doing well these days!

I've been known to google MYSELF now and then, and I'm a nobody. We all do it! Is fun!