Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book List

Holy cow!  It's been three weeks since I've posted anything (at least it was only three weeks).  I guess that's what deep relaxation can do to you.

I hate to reduce vacations/trips to things accomplished on them, but for the sake of getting the blog up to speed, I'm going to resort to a little list.  I actually happen to love lists and make them all the time.  (I even keep the notebooks where I jot those lists down, but that might be changing soon...)

Books read:

The Feast Nearby:  How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on $40 a week) by Robin Mather
     Verdict:  Enjoyed it although the memoir aspect of it overshadowed the "on $40 a week" aspect for me; nonetheless, it's got some great recipes in it.

Hit by a Farm:  How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn by Catherine Friend
     Verdict: Meh.  I found the writing to lack sophistication, and I often thought the two women were embarrassingly naive about things.  I left it in Nova Scotia for someone else to read.

Grace by Grace Coddington
     Verdict:  Fun but lacked depth/self-awareness.  I enjoyed feeling like I was part of the fashion in-crowd through the decades but found Coddington's lack of self-examination (glosses over the devastation to the fashion community caused by AIDS, does what I call a 'hit-and-run' about her miscarriage and her sister's death, etc.) disappointing.  In my Creative Nonfiction class I would've given her a C+/B- for her lack of disclosure or willingness to be vulnerable.

Unless by Carol Shields
     Verdict:   Interesting and well-written novel; found the conclusion a bit too tidy and the narrator unsympathetic but not so much that she inspired any kind of deep reaction from me (which would've been better).

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
     Verdict:  Compelling and smart although I don't know that it will stick with me.  There were a few other issues with it (uh, almost complete lack of fully formed female characters) that are probably more reflective of my politics than the book's literary merits.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
     Verdict:  F*cking amazing.  (Yes, it deserved the emphatic swearing.)  A stunning book that does so much within its pages (and incidentally is entirely narrated by women).  Read it if you haven't already.

I had a lot of time to read, which was great.  Nova Scotia is the place where I get to feel like a reader again.


  1. How funny: I just bought that book (the Kingsolver one)!!!
    I sent an email to a couple of friends requesting books idea to put on my Kobo for the long hours of breastfeeding awaiting me but I wasn't really enthusiastic at first about this author because I borrowed "the lacuna" at the library and really didn't enjoy it. Anyway, I am glad you liked it!

  2. Sounds like some amazing reading time. I find it interesting that you divorce the politics of a book with literary merit.... will discuss later...

  3. I know this is an older post, but I love finding reviews and recommendations from people whose taste I feel I can trust. Thank you for this.

    1. Thanks! I hope to get back to posting some reviews as well as finding more time to read.