Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

This is a Pulitzer Prize winner.  That doesn't always mean that it will be a book I think was worth reading. This one is definitely worth reading.

The book follows our protagonist from the age thirteen until twenty seven.  His life is full of upheaval and tragedy and really bad choices by him and the adults in his life. It is the story of a boy and a painting called The Goldfinch.

The language of the book is that kind of poetic prose where you finish a page and feel like it was poetry when really it was nothing but a very well-described and beautifully rendered couple of paragraphs. Quite often I had to re-read a passage because the chaos described was translated so well that I wasn't certain I'd caught everything in the scene.  On the same vein, one character was a very chaotic, wild and fast person and I found myself reading his dialogue at a faster rate than the rest.

In order to avoid spoilers I won't give anything more away except to say that if you aren't freaked out by the idea of reading 775 pages, you should definitely read this. If you are freaked out by 775 pages, you should work on that because there are so many big books to love.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

This book reminds me of the shows that play on Lifetime "television for women".  I'm not saying it was bad but it was meh.

This book was a bit over dramatic and her characters were rather stereotypical in many ways. The book follows three main women and their relationships. One woman has a husband, a son and a cousin whose life is horribly enmeshed with hers and her families. This woman was quite self-centered and seemingly not very reflective until her husband announces he is in love with someone else. This starts a period of finally reflecting and looking at the people in her life as individuals rather than how they affect her.  She makes a couple colossal mistakes but is able to swallow pride and make an effort to mend the problem.

The second woman is the widowed mother of a man, married with one child, and a girl who was killed at seventeen. This woman wears her grief like a heavy blanket. The blanket of grief diminishes her capacity to enjoy anything in life except her grandson.   She has spent the years so wrapped in her grief she has largely ignored her living son. She has no concept of his grief, she has not made any effort to get to know him or his wife.

The third woman is married with three daughters. She is a super organized "get it done" kind of woman. While her husband is traveling on business, she finds a letter addressed to her from her husband "to be read in the event of his death."  The existence of this letter throws her for a loop as it is very unlike her husband to do something like this. When she asks him about it on the phone later, he tries to brush it off as no big deal, he wrote it right after their first child was born and he was feeling the enormity of parenthood. This was a pretty good answer but she knew he was lying.

In thinking about it, this was an okay book but it was just a little more feminine drama than I like.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

Admittedly I got totally bogged down last year and just gave up blogging. I have decided to turn over a new leaf and try, once again, to blog all the books I read.  To get caught up for the month I am not going to blog them in the order I read them or any other specific order other than the one that is sticking most in my mind.

The other day I read The Weird Sisters driving from Reno to Salt Lake. I wasn't driving, by the way, my husband was. Okay I had actually read about 2 chapters the day before but the rest I read on the drive home.

I really enjoyed this book. Maybe I enjoyed it so much because it is about three sisters and I am one of three sisters myself (of course we have a brother too but I am looking at the sister relationships).  The book family had a father who spoke largely in Shakespearian verse, really. It was kind of awesome to consider that instead of using quoted from say The Princess Bride, a family might throw out quotes from A Midsummer's Nights Dream or Othello. Weird but awesome.

Of course the characters all had traits that bugged me and did things that I was inwardly screaming "no, don't do that! You'll regret it!".  I think that is just a sign that the characters are written well, like real people.

I enjoyed different aspects of each of the characters so if you amalgamated them into one, you may end up with a really great character or a really crappy one depending on which batch if traits are used. The supporting characters (parents) were ethereal in a way. They floated on the edges and occasionally through the story but they were less tangible as people. I liked the contrast of this. There were also a couple of supporting male roles but they had a different quality to them. It was as though the men were only whole when they were with a sister but otherwise they were, not ethereal but, not real or substantial either.

Anyway, it's a fast and fun read. You should check it out.