Sunday, September 26, 2010

Books I Read in cough cough cough

Here's the list of books I read in coughcoughcoughavoideyecontact August.  Yeah, give me a break, I know it's already almost October. Better late than never, I always say.

Unless we're talking about an annual swarm of killer bees.  Then I say better never than ever.

I have a platitude for every occasion. 

1.  Rat by Fernada Eberstadt
While not wildly intricate or complex, this story about a 15 year old French girl is nevertheless well-written with interesting characters and story plot.  When "Rat" finds out that her adopted brother is being molested by her mom's boyfriend and her mother doesn't believe them, she and her brother set off to England to find Rat's biological father.  I wish this novel was almost 100 pages longer, as the author occasionally changed character perspective, and I feel as if she could have done that more often and given the story a bit of fleshing out.

2. Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson
 Between, Georgia

By the same author of "Gods In Alabama", this novel is similar in the heavily southern story line and quirky set of characters.  Told in the first person by Nonny Frett, this book is about the ties of family, both the ones you were born into and the ones you create for yourself.  I'd definitely recommend this novel to people who enjoy  the "quirky and realistic" genre like authors Billie Letts and Joanne Mapson, and I'd love to read more books by this author. 

3. House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones

House of Many Ways 
 A sequel to Howl's Moving Castle-- so don't just start with this one (Howl's Moving Castle was actually made into a fairly decent anime film by Miyazaki of Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke fame if you're into that sort of thing).  Young adult fantasy fiction, not quite as good as the first but still fun.

4. The Perfect Poison (Arcane Society) by Amanda Quick
 The Perfect Poison (Arcane Society)
 Amanda Quick is the pseudonym for romance author Jayne Anne Krentz when she writes (and I use this word incredibly loosely) "historical" romances.  It's a junk food book:  comforting, you know exactly what to expect, but no real substance.  This is one of the Arcane Society books, which revolves around a secret society of psychically talented individuals in regency England (and you can read about their descendants in some of her novels under the name Krentz).    

5. Digging to America by Anne Tyler 
Digging to America 
 This is a story of two very different families who adopt babies from Korea, one of typical white-bread Americans and one of Iranian-Americans, and it deals with issues of identity and outsiderness.  It focuses mostly on Maryam Yazdan, the Iranian grandmother, but we get snippets of insight from almost everyone involved.  Well written with detailed character description, I definitely enjoyed it.

6. Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
Remarkable Creatures 
Chevalier also wrote "The Girl With The Pearl Earring", and this historically inspired novel focuses on the friendship of two female fossil hunters.  As one is a moderately well-to-do spinster and the other a working class girl, Chevalier does a fantastic job illustrating how both gender and social inequality plays into their friendship and their lives without ramming it down your throat.  

7. Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom (Book 1) by Julie Kenner
Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom (Book 1) 
 Imagine Buffy the Vampire Slayer all grown up and trying to live a normal life in the suburbs with her kids and normal husband but demons start busting into her front window---and you get the premise of this book.  Cheesy but fun, I've been searching in vain for the next one and will soon have to give in and just order it online.

8. Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) - Library Edition by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) - Library Edition 
Have I mentioned that I love these books?  Oh wait, I have.  I stayed up until 2 a.m. reading this book the day it came in the mail.  Great ending:  real.      

9.  Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler
 Noah's Compass 
I liked Digging to America so much that I wanted to read some of Tyler's other books, so I picked this one up at the library.  While well-written and in-depth characterization, nothing really happens in the entire book.  It's the story of an elderly guy with a quiet life.  Not exactly a thrilling page turner.  


  1. I will refer back to this when I am ready to choose another book. Reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" right now. As always, well written blog!

  2. I actually JUST read that one last week--so it'll be on my "Books I read in September" list! It took awhile to pick up the pace but I liked it!