Monday, April 25, 2016

Cannery Row

By John Steinbeck

A series of stories based on the author's memories and friends in Cannery Row in Monterey, CA (despite the disclaimer at the beginning that all the characters are fictional). There are many funny and sad moments in this book, and All the characters are portrayed with love, despite their many shortcomings. It is well written and enjoyable.  The introduction, though it took me a while to go through, was well worth the read. [185 pp.]

Link to book

Saturday, April 16, 2016

In Mike We Trust

By P.E. Ryan

Yes, I chose the book because it was right next to the Sara Ryan's books, and I liked the cover. It was pretty good. Some parts seemed to be a bit contrived, but overall it was pretty entertaining, and discusses some important issues. It's about Garth, a high school student who recently came out to his best friend and mother. The latter didn't take it all that well, and so Garth feels relieved and comfortable when his uncle comes to visit. But pretty soon the lies begin and complications follow. [YA/ 336 pp.]

Link to book.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Northanger Abbey

By Jane Austen

It's been a while since I read a classic, and I believe I haven't even read one since I started my writing classes, so I wanted to examine a few writing issues in classic novels, especially after reading a book that jumped through POVs liberally, which is something often done in classic, by using omniscient POV. But, to my surprise, this novel used a pretty close third person POV. I've read many of Jane Austen's books, and have always liked her observations of society and human nature. I loved the subtext in this book and the wittiness with which she displays hypocrisy and greed.  [251 pp.]

Link to book.

The Rules for Hearts

By Sara Ryan

A sequel to Empress of the World, this book is told from the point of view of Battle, Nic's friend and lover, a year after their summer adventure. Since we learned in the first book that Battle has a brother who ran away from home and disappeared, it only made sense that we'd want to know what happened with that. I was a little disappointed there wasn't more frequent and earlier mention of Nic and the nature of their relationship (though it became clearer toward the end). All in all, I'm glad I only read these books after both of them had already been published. [YA, 222 pp.]

Link to book.

Empress of the World

By Sara Ryan

A wonderful YA novel about Nic, a girl with some security and sexual orientation issues who goes on a summer camp of gifted youth and learns much more than the subject matter of the course she signed up to. I liked the book enough to get its sort-of-sequel, The Rules for Hearts. [224 pp.]

Link to book.