Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Everything Is Illuminated

by Jonathon Safron Foer

thumbs down

I only got a quarter of the way through this book before I decided to give up. I just didn't like the book. I didn't like his word choice, his long sentences, or his bizarre ideas.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

The Dogs of Babel

by Carolyn Parkhurst

thumbs up

I read that this book was about a man whose wife dies and he thinks his dog will be able to tell him if it was an accidental death or if she killed herself, so he tries to teach the dog to speak. I thought it might be a goofy book, but I thought I'd give it a try anyway.

It is about the goofy idea of trying to teach his dog to speak, but it much sweeter than that. The chapters float back and forth between his day to day grieving over the loss of his wife and wanting to teach his dog to speak and stories of his wife and their life together. I thought it was a good read.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Wife

by Meg Wolitzer

thumbs up

I enjoyed this book. The narrator tells us about her life with her husband and about her times of unhappiness. She decides to leave him. I love the strength of the woman, even though she stayed with him through such unhappiness. I love that she is the better half of their marriage, and that she eventually decided enough was enough.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

No Heroes: A Memoir Of Coming Home

by Chris Offut

thumbs up

I don't know where I came across this book. I thought it would be a soldier's experiences of returning home from serving. Wrong. It's a guy who grew up in the hills of Kentucky and moved away, and has moved back to teach at the local college.

The chapters of his return are interrupted with chapters of his mother-in-law's and father-in-law's experiences in concentration camps during World War II. The two topics don't blend together from chapter to chapter, but they're interesting nonetheless. I thought by the end of the book there would be a summation that would clearly tie the two topics together, but there isn't. At least, not clear enough for this reader. Maybe somebody smarter than me would get it, though.

All in all, a good read. Especially the short prologue. The book is worth picking up just to read that. Beautiful.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

By Betty Smith

thumbs up

I have heard this title mentioned before but never heard anything about the book. I didn't even know what it was about but I decided to give it a whirl. I like it. It tells about a poor girl growing up in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. She is the main character, but you also get to know her family.