Friday, October 26, 2007

Run by Ann Patchett

I am a pretty big Ann Patchett fan, but this book seemed flawed to me. The story involves large issues like race, adoption, politics and redemption. The problem is that all of the pieces do not fall together without the narrative powers of a ghost who visits one of the main characters as she lays in her hospital bed following surgery. It ruined the otherwise splendid part of the novel for me.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

This book was recommended by a former student who had to read it as an incoming freshman at Bowling Green University this year. She said she could not put it down, and that, combined with the wall of this book on display in Borders, convinced me to read it. This memoir brings the reader face to face with the cruelties of life as a member of the Walls family. They are nomads, they are homeless, they suffer, and yet they survive with few scratches and huge characters. Jeanette Walls is currently a reporter for MSNBC. My student who recommended the book wrote to me that Walls not only came to speak at BG, but was a guest speaker in her Journalism class. She has convinced me that Walls deserves whatever medal we reserve in this society for people who not only endure, but can write about their experience with the eloquence that makes their very singular story read as a universal one.