Since I can’t read ALL THE BOOKS, I have been reading a couple of chapters of everything (up to 50 pages) to make determinations about what’s worthwhile for me to read in full, and what I want to read and possibly recommend for Bloggers Recommend. While a book may surprise later on, an educated guess can usually be made about the book’s themes, writing style, and overall entertainment/enjoyment factor. Here is a brief rundown of the educated guesses I have on some books I’ve been previewing.
Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng – Cheng’s debut novel has been receiving the highest praise and accolades while being compared to masterful writers in the southern tradition. In reading just a few chapters I can see that the sound and fury do indeed signify something. I was impressed with the way he builds mystery and menace around his young characters, and slowly begins to reveal the dire circumstances which surround them. I felt as if I have met some truly creepy characters in the span of just a few pages, and have been surprised as well. I am looking forward (maybe not quite the right phase) to finding out more. It promises to be a powerful story.
Life After Life by Jill McCorkle – As the title suggests, Life After Life is about family and relationships, in this case the ones that are formed at a nursing home and retirement community in North Carolina. I’m reading this one with my book club, and it has been difficult to fully get into the meandering narrative that considers the lives, and deaths, of numerous residents and their families. It gets more interesting as I uncover more of the connections between them all, but I’m not sure if I would have persevered without the incentive of an upcoming discussion. There have been moments here and there, but I’m waiting to be more fully engaged. This one is hard to call, and I could go either way as I get more pieces of all the stories. I can’t wait to compare notes with the rest of the club.
The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley – This was such an easy book to get into and I get the idea that it will be really fabulous. The writing is rich yet simple, and the story is engaging. I love the descriptions of farm life and and the small town depicted. I can’t wait to see how Evelyn’s life develops on the farm as the unusual companion hinted at makes an appearance. She has already had a run in with a seedy cousin, so hopefully some one will better will turn up soon.