Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Girlfriends' Guide to Toddlers

Ah. . . mind candy. I don't agree with much of Iovine's white bread advice, but that's hardly the point, is it? The point is that it is mildly funny and you can read it without all cylinders engaged. And how can you not like someone who describes toddler feet as pork chops with toenails? Recommended for people with the flu, or whatever.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

So this was an engrossing story, but it was also soap-opera-ish, a little too bawdy, and guilty of the most common sin of historical fiction (which is the employment of the proto-feminist protagonist). But I still got wound up in the story. Recommended?

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

Not a book I would have picked up on my own--although homeschoolers are always raving about it--but I read this for my book group. It started slowly, with wooden writing and two-dimensional characters. But at some point, I found myself actually interested in the story. It metamorphosed into a rather good read. For me this is saying a lot because I usually detest historical fiction set in biblical times for a whole slew of reasons. Recommended.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

This was a fun little read. I must confess that some of his stories are just a little too perfect and I found myself wondering if he was, ah, embellishing just a little. But this was still an enjoyable book--a nice light read with good background detail and real interest. Slightly recommended.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus

This was a good read. Not life changing, but an interesting story well-told with some unusual twists and excellent character development. Recommended.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz

Wow. I loved this book. It takes real talent to handle so many diverse stories (hard-core Civil War reenactments, the battle over the rebel flag, Gone with the Wind, history in the Alabama schools, etc.), to tell them with a fair hand, and to keep such heavy topics light. This book is a model for what good nonfiction can be. Highly recommended.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Mermaid Chair by Susan Monk Kidd

I adored The Secret Life of Bees and this was just as good; Sue Monk Kidd has a gift. There's an indefinable essence that makes a novel engaging; this book has it.

(Although I am still feeling guilty for how much I was rooting for a married woman to have an affair with a monk . . .)

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