Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Luxe

This book (first in a series) by Anna Godberson is apparently the Gossip Girl of 1899. It's the story of two young sisters in New York at the turn of the century, and all the gossip and scandal that goes on behind the social facade everyone puts on. It's a young adult novel, but it was still fun for me to read as a slightly-less-young adult. =) It wasn't the best thing ever, absolutely NO comparison to, say, A Great and Terrible Beauty, but it was fun to get caught up in that world, even though the author's writing style wasn't terribly arresting.

A mediocre review, but I'm tired and I'm sooooo far behind. I liked this one okay--well enough to continue reading the rest of the series. It just wasn't as good as several other books I've read from that era...but, on the other hand, it was very clever in transposing the modern-day high-school girl drama onto the turn-of-the-century issues.

Two Women

This book by Marianne Fredriksson was sitting at the top of a display at my library the contents of which were apparently books on....women? I dunno. There was one about knitting, one about gardening, a couple with chick-lit pinky-purply covers, all fiction. However strange and dubious of a display that might be, I'm glad I picked this book up. I'm always interested in reading books from other countries of origin, in this case, Sweden: sometimes it turns out well, and sometimes I have no idea what the heck they're talking about. Luckily, this book was pretty easy for me to wrap my head around, but it was still...exotic...enough to give me that taste of different writing that I was looking for. (Can I call Sweden exotic? It doesn't really seem to compute.)

Anyway. The book is about two middle-aged women who meet and bond over gardening and their children, but it's much deeper than that might sound. One is a native Swede who has been through some tough times with her ex-husband, and the other is a Chilean immigrant who has been through some tough times, period. It explored some interesting political territory for me. I'm glad I read it. The only criticism I have at the moment is that I'm not sure the ending was very satisfying, but that's okay with me. The book didn't blow my mind, but it still fed my need for learning more about the world from different perspectives.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; Plum Spooky; Talk Nerdy to Me

The last couple of weeks have been such a blur. I'm working on getting an insulin pump and we just pretty much bought a house! (You know, the part where we're "under contract" now has happened, but not closing.) And then there was the Easter traveling to Ben's dad's house that made me feel like I lost about a WEEK...yeesh. So I really have no idea what books I've skipped reviewing. I have been reading a lot, but luckily I've read halfway through a lot of books and not yet finished them so hopefully I can still find time to review them someday. In the meantime, here are four books that I know I didn't get around to reviewing but which really, honestly, don't need their own reviews.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Silver Chair (C.S. Lewis). Decent. Part of the famous and fun Chronicles of Narnia series.

Plum Spooky (Janet Evanovich) Very fluffy. I'm not a big fan of the "offshoots" of the Stephanie Plum series. The normal series books are numbered (One for the Money, Two for the Dough...) and then the "offshoots" or whatever you might call them all have "Plum" in the title. But they don't talk about the regular characters that much or at least they're very unsatisfying to me. It's not horrible writing or anything, just not very interesting, too tangential for my tastes. Also, I think the series might have come up against a tough place for her to move on with it. But eh.

Talk Nerdy to Me (Vicky Lewis Thompson) This was absolutely godawful. The writing was pretty much the cheesiest thing I'd ever seen, and just wow. But luckily, it was just a fluffy romance so it wasn't scarring or anything. I wouldn't recommend it but I couldn't resist picking it up because it had a great title. And it's not a book that made me feel violated either. It was just superDUPER cheesy and scripted and...yeah.