August | 2008 | Linus's Blanket

TSS: Bookkeeping ~ August 2008

Today was a good reading day.  I spent all of Saturday with housekeeping and doing my hair, and today I got the chance to just relax.

I’m hosting a giveway that ends on September 1st, 11:59pm EST.  If you’s like to read Hurry Down Sunshine, by Michael Greenberg go here.  My review is here.

I started out the day reading The History of Lucy’s Love Life in Ten and a Half Chapters. Deborah Wright’s writing is clear and engaging and this is a great book to read to take your mind off the heavier stuff.  I don’t read a lot of chick-lit romances but this one called to me in the library because of it’s quirkiness.  A woman dissatisfied with her relationship visits all her favorite poets and writers with the help of a time machine. A little suspension of disbelief is necessary, but I spent two chapters with Lucy and for the most part so far am pleasantly entertained.

I spent the rest of the day reading Mudbound.  My, my , my is Hillary Jordan a great writer.  This is her first book and I sat yesterday and read it all the way through.  It was all there.  The story was compelling, the characters were full and fleshed out, and there wa such exquisite foreshadowing and suspense.  She gives you enough hints without giving away the final outcome and she has a few tricks in the end.  I can’t recommend this enough. Not sure how I can do the review any justice.

August Reads

So, in August I managed:

Hurry Down Sunshine, by Michael Greenberg
The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton
The Abstinence Teacher, by Tom Perrotta
The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
On the Way Home, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Cornrows, by Camille Yarborough
Song of the Trees, by Mildred Taylor
The Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers: ANovel, by Xiaolu Guo
Jane Austen: A Life, Carol Shields
Lost, Cathy Ostlere (review)
The New-Slain Knight:The Haunted Ballad Series, by Deborah Grabien
Ain’t I A Woman, by bell hooks
The Penelopiad, by Margaret Atwood
Diets for Healthy Healing, by Linda Page
The Wife: A Novel, by Meg Wolitzer
The Lost Daughter, by Elena Ferrante & Ann Goldstein (Translator)
Matrimony, by Joshua Henkin
In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan
Mudbound, by Hillary Jordon

19 books and 5 reviews in the batch for August.  I have some catching up to do.  I have all of my reviews written by hand.  That seems to be the way that I have to do things.  There is something about the way hand and pen connects with the paper that starts my thought process.  Once I have written the review it can take me a while before I come back to it and edit it and then post it up here.  I have committed to writing and posting about all the books that I have read so far, so I have some catching up to do with posting reviews.  It would help if I could just type things right into the computer, but I don’t work that way.

What’s your method for writing reviews?

Book Bulletin ~ Matrimony, Joshua Henkin

I am about eighty pages into Matrimony by Joshua Henkin and I’m not yet sure how I feel about it.  Right now it’s a little loose and it’s just going along; from what I know so far I don’t have a a clue as to what will happen next or how these characters will end up.  I figure at some point someone will get married, since this is Matrimony after all.

Two guys, Julian and Carter, come from different worlds but reluctantly become friends in college at the prompting of their curmudgeonly Creative Writing professor.  They start dating Mia and Pilar, respectively, during their freshman year and manage to maintain their relationships throughout their senior year in college, where they are all trying to figure out their next steps; and that’s about where I’m at right now.  I’m interested enough in the story , and I don’t know if that’s because I have heard such good things about it, that I want  to keep reading, but I am a little disturbed at how insular the characters are.  They move into  a commune, where the couples live next door to each other, and so far not a single person who lives there, outside of the foursome, have been mentioned; and none of them seem to have any other friends beside each other. It’s a little weird.  The only place where other students are present is in the writing class the boys took together freshman year. 

So far I don’t feel I’ve gotten to know either of the boys that well.  I feel like I know their types, but don’t really know them.  But there are some places where there is a nice characterization of Julian , like with the dogs that he walks and the Korean couple that he gets to know at the vegetable market he frequents.  I am starting to get to know Mia a little as her world gets turned upside down.  So far, she seems to be the most fully developed character.  So we’ll see.

I’ll end with a sentence I enjoyed.

The babies lay like take-out orders beneath the warm lights, the boys with blue hats, the girls with pink ones, everything determined already; Mia, hating this, swore that if she ever had a baby she’d have the pinkest boy in the world, she’d have the bluest girl.

I like the image of babies as take out, and the use of the semi-colon (j/k).