Sunday, May 27, 2007

TBR Review: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

My goodness. I can't for the life of me figure out what everyone thought was so great about this book. Along about page 160, I finally admitted that I had no idea what was going on. I couldn't follow who was narrating now and how they were connected...sometimes I truly didn't care about a particular narrator, mostly because the factoids given in such sections seemed to have no relevance whatsoever to the rest of the book.

I know what you're wondering (if you haven't read it). And yes, it all did end up tying together in the end. But it was all much too clever and convoluted for me. Maybe if I read it a couple more times, I'd understand it. Too much work for pleasure reading, in my opinion. I still don't get it. But I'm moving on. This is me. Moving on.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Today's the Day!

A Thousand Splendid Suns goes on sale today!! I cannot wait to read this book, which is getting RAVE reviews. The Kite Runner was one of my favorite books of all time, and apparently Khaled Hosseini's second offering does not disappoint! I'm off to the bookstore......

Friday, May 11, 2007

TBR Review: Waxwings by Jonathan Raban

This book has been on my list forever, it seems. I've never heard of Jonathan Raban before, and can't remember where I got this recommendation. But it's just the kind of book I love, with well-drawn characters, and engaging story and a realistic plot. There's no fairytale endings here, but a twinge of hope and triumph to get you through.

Basically, it's the story of Tom Janeway, a British man living in Seattle with his wife and son. It's a character study, a book where nothing of major importance happens, but you feel like you've been handed a slice of someone's life to look over and dwell in for a time.

He has a new book out, Surveillance, which I just put on my TBR list. It goes to prove that nothing I can do will diminish the list! Anyway, I'm planning on reading more from Jonathan Raban. I loved his style!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

TBR Review: State Boys Rebellion by Michael D'Antonio

I'm not a non-fiction fan, and I have no recollection of where I got the recommendation for this book. BUT, having now read it, I can say that everyone should read this book. D'Antonio has an easily readable and engaging style, so even if you don't love non-fiction, you can get through it easily.

Basically, it follows the life of Fred Boyce, one of the "State Boys" of Massachusetts in the 1950's. But to tell Fred's story is to tell the story of thousands of others - boys and girls caught up in the idea of "eugenics". Here's the dictionary definition of eugenics:

the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, esp. by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics).

There were people in the early part of this century who believed that we should take all "feebleminded" children and lock them away...not allowing them to be part of society, or to reproduce, and so forth. Many of the children targeted were children like Fred Boyce, foster kids who had simply never had a loving home or any quality education and were therefore considered "retarded" or "feebleminded" when actually they were nothing of the kind.

The story told here specifically is quite interesting. But you're also left with larger looming issues. Which of our beliefs today will someday be considered horrific? Are we making assumptions, or even decisions, about certain people based on looks, language, etc., that will turn out to be horrifyingly wrong? This is a great book, not only for the content of the book, but for the thoughts that will spring from the subject matter. You should read it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Bookmarks is the bane of my life - not!

I love Bookmarks Magazine. Really I do. But I almost dread its arrival in my mailbox, because it always means adding more books to my growing - and growing - To Be Read pile (My Library Thing, on the sidebar, is actually by TBR list). I now have 77 books I want to read. And although I'm reading books at a faster rate than ever before, I can't seem to read more in a month than I add with each month's Bookmarks Magazine. Therefore, I'll never catch up. I'll be drowning in books forever. The End.