Quite a few people have made the long journey over to the new guestbook (link to the right) to say hello. What I notice so far is that people have really liked the book recommendations. Except I haven’t done that in a while, and I wanted to say a word about why.
I’m not interested in reviewing books for the sake of reviewing them. If I have something to recommend, or something to say that seems useful, then I write it up. So does this mean I’ve read nothing in the last couple months? I’m always reading, every day, for long periods, but I’m not always reading novels, or if I am, I go through stages of re-reading. I re-read all of Jane Austen every year, and I’ve said before that I’m re-reading the Niccolo series for a discussion group. I suppose I could write a short review called ‘why you should read Pride & Prejudice if you haven’t already’ but really, I know I’m not going to talk anybody into it.
I have actually read three or four new novels in the last six weeks, but I didn’t like any of them enough to recommend them or dislike them so intensely that I feel the need to vent (as I did, you may recall, about The DaVinci Code). I’m hoping this changes soon.
I can’t recommend Jodi Picoult’s latest novel “My Sister’s Keeper” highly enough, though I do maintain that it should have a warning in the front cover to the effect of ‘this book will break your heart’. It’s a very powerful, very well-constructed read.
okay, well, that’s good enough for me. It goes on the list.
I just ripped through Bet Me in one day yesterday, and I do still think it was the best Crusie yet, but I think she rushed the ending a bit, just in the last couple of pages. All of a sudden it felt like I was reading a high-school creative writing assignment. But I also got the feeling that maybe she was being tongue-in-cheek, ending it in that overly pat manner.
Meredith, I’m going to look into “My Sister’s Keeper”; thanks for the recommendation.
Rachel, if you can’t get hold of “My Sister’s Keeper” (not sure what the publication date is in the States), you might like to try “Keeping Faith”, also by Jodi Picoult, if you haven’t already read it. Very thought-provoking.
Pride and Prejudice is absolutely my favorite novel of all time. In fact, we came close to naming our first daughter Elizabeth, only backing out at the last second bc we were afraid she’d be called Lizzy. You, of course, did the next bext thing with E. Middleton (and can control the Lizzy-factor to boot.).
For whatever it’s worth, in the last few years, two books that have really stayed with me are Being Dead, by Jim Crace, and Tim Winton’s Dirt Music.
I did post this somewhere else, but if you haven’t read The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory you’re missing out on pure evil vs evil –I read it in two days – couldn’t put it down.
I have to agree with the reccomendation for “The Other Boleyn Girl”. Another great author is Diane Haeger. Of all of her books “Courtesan” is one of my all time favorites.
Sarah Dunant’s “The Birth of Venus” was very good as well.