Books Read January 2008

Body Surfing by Anita Shreve
At the ripe old age of 29, Sydney has been divorced once and widowed once. To get things together she agrees to tutor the teenage daughter of a well-to-do couple during their summer at an oceanfront cottage. This particular cottage has appeared in many of Shreve’s books, and it’s really the most interesting about the book. Can you tell I was disappointed? Especially since the story had so much to offer. For instance -- the ruttish older brothers’ visit and Sydney is courted by both, the daughter runs away to Canada with an older woman, and the only truly nice guy ends up dead.

Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Veronica Swan is twelve years old when her peaceful life in a close-knit Mormon community is changed forever. While babysitting her two younger sisters, they are brutally murdered. In true Christian fashion, the parents eventually forgive the killer. Veronica starts the sad process of trying to avenge her sisters' deaths, and tracks down the murderer.
There’s fiction, and then there’s fiction written by Jacquelyn Mitchard, of Deep End of the Ocean fame. She manages to pull your heartstrings without being patronizing. Good solid fiction.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Hanna Heath, a rare-book expert, finds herself face to face with the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. The book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. While she repairs it, she discovers some interesting items in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, and a white hair. Through each tiny artifact she begins tracing the book's journey from the present to its creation in 1480.
Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is a perfect example of great historical fiction. In my mind, no other author attacks this genre with such vigor.

The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
This is no ordinary story. Henry DeTamble is an adventuresome librarian who, at a young age realizes he can (and does quite frequently) travel through time. These travels are not voluntary and are actually quite frightening since they usually leave him naked, mangled and looking for clothes. On one such journey he meets young Clare Abshire. I won’t say more except it is an enchanting tale, and you should read it -- even though some of the chronology is spongy.

Thought to Exist in the Wild by Derrick Jensen
Every so often a book lands in your lap with no rhyme ‘nor reason. I actually bought this book as a present for my step-daughter. When it arrived I glanced at the pages and started reading. I could not put it down. Jensen captivated me with his incredible insight and reason. If you’ve ever walked through a zoo with a pit in your stomach feeling “this isn’t right,” then buy this book and share it with as many people as possible.


Rose said...

Cage of Stars sounds like a really good book. I envy you I don't have time to read. Heck, I don't have time to write. lol You should add amazon to your blog and make some money while reviewing. :)

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about adding star ratings to each book? =)I think that would be cool.