Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

This was a gift from David for Christmas, and I started in on it on the 26th, my favorite reading day of the year. At first I was not comfortable in the details of the lives of the narrator and his wife, both employees at Columbine High School at the time of the shooting. I had to let myself get through those early pages to realize the greater subject of loss and post-traumatic stress that Lamb was addressing. It is a very ambitious book -- almost too much so.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Christmas Break Reading 2008 - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I had read all of the advance buzz when this book was released for the first time in America in October after experiencing international success. I bought it right away, read the first (slow) chapters, and because of its length, set it aside for Christmas break. I'm so glad I did. Once I let myself into the murder mystery and tangle of similarly named Swedish characters, I loved the intrigue and ruthlessness of the investigation. I recommend it and wait for the next book which is due out in August.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Requiem Mass. by John Dufresne

I am a huge fan of Dufresne's humor, so when I happened upon an autographed copy of his new book in a bookstore in Amherst, Mass, I felt the connection. Unfortunately, this book was tougher to get through, which characters more pitiful than laughable.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Goldengrove by Francine Prose

This tender novel is narrated by a thirteen year old girl named Niko whose older sister, Margaret, drowns in pond as the book opens. The title comes from Gerard Manley Hopkins's Spring and Fall (which begins Margaret, are you grieving/ Over Goldengrove unleaving?) Niko and Margaret's father is a bookseller, which makes the connection even more interesting when Niko finds the poem in a book in his shop and tries to use it to explain her pain and loss.