Saturday, December 29, 2012

Talk before Sleep

By Elizabeth Berg

[I finished reading this book a long time ago, probably more than a month ago, but neglected to report it]. A book told from the point of view of a woman whose best friend is dying of cancer. It tells the story of the final months with flashbacks to days before the disease. [240 pp.]

Book link

Saturday, November 10, 2012

In Zanesville

By Jo Ann Beard

The life of a teenager in a dreary little town in the Midwest. Starting with a horrific babysitting experience, through school life, and being part of a poor family. The story centers around the friendship of the protagonist with another teenage girl, and the turmoil that it suffers in the process of growing up. This book was fairly interesting, but for some reason it took me a long time to finish it (about 3 weeks). I'm not quite sure why. Could simply be because I'm working a lot more. [307 pp.]

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fruit of the Lemon

By Andrea Levy

The story of a young British woman finding her roots in Jamaica, after not showing much interest in her parents' past lives there. Quite interesting. [340 pp.]

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Dew Breaker

By Edwidge Danticat

At first I thought it was a novel. When I started reading it, it started to look more like a collection of stories. But then I realized that all the stories are connected into one very sad story about a former torturer, his family, and his victims. It was difficult at times for me to bear some of the descriptions, but the book is very well written, and definitely interesting. [256 pp.]

Book link

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Cat's Pajamas

By Ray Bradbury

This is a collection of stories, so my feelings are mixed. Some of the stories were interesting, others weren't so much. Some were really scary (in a thriller kind of way), while others were funny and amusing. Some of the stories I regret to say I couldn't really understand. Cool cover image by Bradbury. [234 pp. + introduction]

Book link

Saturday, August 11, 2012

An Available Man

By Hilma Wolitzer

Quite an engaging story of the first couple of years of a man as a widower, and his relationships with his family and the women he meets along the way. I know this description doesn't make it sound too engaging, but it was. Funny at times, outraging at others. It was pretty good. [304 pp.]

Book link

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Family Fang

By Kevin Wilson

Oh my goodness! What a great book! This is one of the few times I completely agreed with all the praise written on the back. It is novel, interesting, well written, and very enjoyable. Highly recommended. [320 pp.]

Book link

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Lost Dog

By Michelle de Krester

This book was not easy to read. Maybe because it's in Australian... It took me a while to finish it, but overall I enjoyed it. It wasn't too difficult going back to where I stopped 2 weeks before (I didn't want to take it with me to Costa Rica, being a hard cover library book). This book tells the story of a guy who loses his dog in the Australian bush, and while looking for him, he reviews his relationship with the woman he's in love with (but she only sees him as a good friend), and his relationship with his aging mother. Lots of things going on, with the history of the woman he's in love with, and his own history starting with his childhood in India. [336 pp.]

Book link

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ethan Frome

By Edith Wharton

I might have seen the movie on TV at some point, but I can't say anything looked familiar when reading the book. It was quite interesting and fairly easy read, with an interesting twist in the end. [181 pp.]

Book link

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Alma [Hebrew]

By Roni Eshkol

I feel ambivalent about this book. Maybe it's because I am not used to fantasy books, certainly not Hebrew ones. On the one hand, it was a bit annoying: the weird word endings, the weird names of creatures that are similar to known creatures, but are not the same, and the black and white in which everything seems to be drawn. On the other hand, once you get used to all of this, it's quite fascinating. I found myself drawn to reading it. The ending seemed a bit like a telenovela ending, but I should not give it away. [463 pp.]

Book link

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Luminous Airplanes

By Paul La Farge

An interesting story of a person haunted by the ghost of his father, whom he's never met, and how it affected his life and decisions. Set in the year that spans somewhere between the 2000 election and 9/11, but goes back to the person's childhood and beyond. [245 pp.]

Book link

Sunday, May 6, 2012

On the Divinity of Second Chances

By Kara McLaren

A very nice read told from the point of view of almost each and every character, and follows a few months in the life of a family that seems to be on the brink of falling apart. Here too, as in Now is the Time To Open Your Heart, there is an element of new-agey type of thing, but again, it is in good taste (or maybe I am new-agey myself?). [352 pp.]

Book link

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shadows on the Rock

By Willa Cather

A neat little book about early settlement in Quebec. Interesting to think about what people did back then, how they lived, and what they thought. Of course, it was written in the 1930's, which adds another historical dimension. [229 pp.]

Book link

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Now is the time to open your heart

By Alice Walker

Actually, the time to update this blog was more than 3 weeks ago, when I finished reading this book. It was so long ago, I can only comment on my general impression of the book, which was pretty good. I didn't expect this kind of almost new-agey feel to an Alice Walker book, but it did have some of that, although not in an obnoxious way. [240 pp.]

Book link

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Zora Neale Hurston

A beautiful love story that took me a while to finish (though I did finish it a week ago), mostly because a lot of it was written in dialect. [240 pp.]

Book link

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Strand of a Thousand Pearls

By Dorit Rabinyan

It was weird reading a book that was translated from Hebrew in English. Seems like the translator did a good job, but I couldn't help re-translating it back to Hebrew. The book is okay. Not my favorite, but quite readable. I know a Hebrew teacher who was looking for an Israeli book that have been translated to English, and are less than 300 pp. long that would tell her students a little bit about what life in Israel is like. I thought about recommending this book for her class, but decided not too. They might think that all Israeli girls are obsessed with breasts... [272 pp.; finished on 5 days ago]

Book link

Saturday, February 4, 2012


By Natalie Danford

An interesting book about a woman following her father's past and finding disturbing stories about what he did during the war. Apart for one confusing case of inconsistent telling of facts, I found the book very well written, gripping, and enjoyable. [224 pp., actually finished a week ago, just slow to post]

Book link

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Being Dead

By Jim Crace

I probably should have guessed from the title that this book would not be easy to read. Indeed, parts of it made me wish I hadn't picked it up. But for the most part, it was a pretty good read. Very knowledgeable and insightful. But seriously, why did the death have to be so horrible (especially for poor Joseph). The descriptions of what happens to the bodies are also pretty gruesome, but again, the fall under the "informative" category. It was nice to share the time between this read and the previous one (Seven Year Switch). These books are so different, it made complete sense to move from one to the other when I couldn't take one of them anymore (Being Dead was the one I couldn't take much of, actually. Especially in the beginning).

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Seven Year Switch

By Claire Cook

A fun book that is really a page-turner! It's been a while that a reading went so fast for me. It is also informative (culture and wildlife, for example). But there are a few things that bothered me, like putting words in a 10-year old girl that don't make sense for a girl that age to say (criticizing the new star wars movies), and minor common grammatical mistakes (like using "me xxx-ing" instead of "my xxx-ing" in a sentence). They're common and minor, but they still bother me, especially in a book. Also, the end was kind of rushed, like the author tried to squeeze as much as possible in a little bit of space and time. Despite that, I enjoyed reading it. [256 pp.]

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