Saturday, January 2, 2010

At Long Last...My Latest Book List

So I've been banging my head against the wall for the past week because I suddenly lost the ability to cut and paste photos in my blog posts. Right clicking didn't work, CTRL+V didn't work, nothing. Gerry even had three guys from the Geek Squad at Best Buy trying to figure out what happened.

Turns out it's a Blogger thing. They've made it easier to reposition photos or some such thing. So far, it hasn't made my life any easier, but I am glad to be back in business.

---deep cleansing breath---

This is what I've been reading for the past month or so. After a pretty strong start, I hit a reading slump, beginning a few books that turned out to be duds. I've always wondered if I should include those titles on here as well. What do you think?

Ungarnished Truth by Ellie Mathews: This book chronicles Mathews' Pillsbury Bake-Off win back in 1998. She got a lot of flack because she wasn't your typical winner (jumping up and down and bursting into tears), but I really liked both her and her book.

Murder on Monday by Ann Purser: It wasn't terrible, but I don't think I'll be moving on to Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.

Anna and her Daughters by D. E. Stevenson: Yep, another D. E. Stevenson book. There are so so many of them, I Googled something like "favorite DE Stevenson" to find my next read!

In Dublin's Fair City by Rhys Bowen: The previous book, Oh Danny Boy, almost lost me, but a change of scenery was just enough to hold my interest in the series.

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan: This book follows four friends through their time at Smith College and beyond. When I started reading, I was excited to read about a women's college (having gone to one myself), but there were only a few superficial similarities to my experience. Didn't love it.

Valeria's Last Stand by Marc Fitten: I shied away from this book for a long time--I think because it's set in Hungary, which seemed sort of boring to me--but I kept being drawn back by the cover. I'm glad I finally gave it a chance, because it was a different sort of book, kind of like a fable. The author's website has the neatest feature where you can read the first chapter in a little animated book, so give it a try and see what you think!

All That I Have by Castle Freeman, Jr.: I'm having a hard time describing this one, so I'm going to read through the Amazon reviews and lift the one that resonates with me. Hmm, let me see. Okay the Lincoln Log simile is a little much, but I basically agree with this one:

An "absorbing yarn from a writer shrewd with the delayed reveal and deft with
his lean, tidy sentences. The novel's 20 short chapters fit as snugly as Lincoln
logs, and its dialogue zings with a sly Elmore Leonard lilt." — The Cleveland
Plain Dealer
Mad Weekend by Roddy Doyle: I always expect to like Roddy Doyle books more than I do. He's Irish, I like Irish things, etc. Maybe this time I've learned my lesson. Oh well, it was short.

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore: There are tons of holds on this book at the library. It seems to have gotten a lot of hype. I hated it. I thought it was overwritten and lacked focus. If you read it and liked it, please tell me what I'm missing!

French Milk by Lucy Knisley: A journal-like graphic novel about the author's month in Paris with her mother. I wasn't particularly amazed by it, but maybe I just don't fit the demographics.


Sherry Parker said...

Just wanted to thank you for sharing your blog with us. You have been an inspiration to me to start my own blog ~ just made my first post yesterday! I, too, am having trouble with placing pictures, but it is ALL new to me. :) Thanks again for the inspiration!

Karen@Candid Diversions said...

I always look forward to your book posts - they give me ideas for what to read next. :)

--ginger. said...

I personally appreciate the "don't bother" reviews, because I haaaaaate getting into a book that's a dud. I'll look into the Lorrie Moore conundrum. She's one of my favorites, but I haven't read this one yet. Hmmm....

Darling Petunia said...

Sherry, I just visited your blog--your sewing machine is GREAT! Can't wait to see what you're making!