--Breaking in here to vent: What the heck is it with Blogger and spacing? Does ANYONE know why spacing goes all wackadoo when you hit PUBLISH? There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. Anyway, I know this post is all messed up, but I am not going to mess with it any longer. Excuse the interruption!--
Random Books from the New Books Shelves:
Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon: I really wanted to like this. It's a non-fiction book about a young woman who starts a dressmaking business in Afghanistan. It was a brave and admirable thing to do, but it didn't make for a great book.
The Civilized World by Susi Wyss: This was a complete surprise. I haven't read about it in any book review papers or magazines, but it deserves some attention. Now, granted, I have a fascination with Africa lately and that could be clouding my judgement, but I really enjoyed this. I agree with the comparisons that have been made to The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and Olive Kitteredge. I don't usually succumb to this sort of book-review-ese, but there is a real gentleness to her writing and a nice, gradual unfolding of the story.
The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure: Hey, I wanted to be Laura Ingalls as much as the next girl when I was a kid. I did my cross stitch by the light of an oil lamp and longed to churn butter. But aside from a few observations that really hit home, this was a snooze.
The Bride's House by Sandra Dallas: Love Sandra Dallas. Liked the book. I'm trying to think how to explain it...it's like there's a certain atmosphere in some of my favorite SD books, and it's lacking here. It felt a little thin.
The House on the Cliff by D.E. Stevenson: Loved it, and I read this right after Summerhills, so I guess I'm not tired of Stevenson after all!
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym: So good! Excellent even! Said to be the quintessential Pym, and this is available as a reprint, so you should be able to find a copy pretty easily.
The Fledgling by Elizabeth Cadell: This was a darling book. Just look at that cover! :)
Home for the Wedding by Elizabeth Cadell: Wasn't my favorite. It felt like there was simultaneously too much and too little going on at the same time. Does that make any sense? It's like there was a lot of coming and going, but to no end. But, you know, not bad.
The Search for a New Mystery Series:
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters: This is the first Amelia Peabody book, and I think I could read more of these. I didn't like it quite as much as Maisie Dobbs, but I liked it a lot more than some of the other series I've sampled! An aside: Holy cow, Elizabeth Peters is a lot of people! Check out her website!
Say It with Poison by Ann Granger: This was the result of searching for English village mysteries. It was okay, but I'm not eager to read more.
Books Getting Lots of Attention:State of Wonder by Ann Patchett: I have such a girl crush on Ann Patchett and could not WAIT for a new book from her, but I was disappointed. I really liked the Amazon setting, and it started out well, but I felt it start to lag in the middle, and it seemed to limp to the end. I'm sad now. I didn't want to say anything bad about my girl.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: I didn't like this at all. It's supposed to be so compelling and moving and thought-provoking and it even has its own website, but it didn't work for me. Maybe I'm too far removed from all the teenage angsty stuff.One More School Reading List Book:
Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix: I was DREADING this one, because it's science fiction, but it wasn't all that bad. I thought it got a bit ridiculous towards the end, but it was a lot more readable than I expected.
How 'bout you? Read anything good lately? Always taking suggestions!