Thursday, August 26, 2010

books 2010 #25-31

Sophie and the Rising SunSophie and the Rising Sun by Augusta Trobaugh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A poignant love story between a middle-aged Southern woman and a Japanese man around the time of WWII. Trobaugh addresses themes of racism and tolerance, and what it means to love someone and to be a true friend. I found all of the characters to be captivating - this is definitely more character-driven than plot-driven (although some surprising things happen as well). Sweet and thoroughly enjoyable.

Cranford (Penguin Classics)Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a fun read, but a rare case where I actually enjoyed the movie more than the book. Wonderful BBC production.

Swan PlaceSwan Place by Augusta Trobaugh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yet another Southern novel that I really enjoyed. Trobaugh did a wonderful job with characterization and capturing the language of people of different ages and races – all of the voices rang with authenticity.

Dove is a young girl with big hardships and a lot of responsibility. The relationships in her life are very satisfying and the plot was not predictable. Highly recommended.

The Pox Party (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, #1)The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Octavian is both a prince and a slave. He is the subject of a disturbing experiment performed by a group of extreme rational philosophers to determine whether people of African descent are inferior to whites.

Much of the book revolves around Octavian trying to figure out his own identity, a tricky proposition indeed. Though classified as YA literature, I wouldn't recommend it to the younger of the YA set.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon CakeThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is truly a peculiar book, stranger than I imagined when I started it. Rose's gift of being able to taste the emotions of the people who prepare her food is, for the most part, a curse.

I found the characters fascinating, and I was really rooting for Rose, and even her standoffish brother. If anything, I wanted more, the ending came a little too soon for my liking.

The Angel's GameThe Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Angel's Game has much in common with The Shadow of the Wind, which I loved. Barcelona is heavily featured, a character itself. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books makes another appearance. It wasn't until I went to book club that I realized that Sempere's son is Daniel's father (from Shadow of the Wind) and that The Angel's Game is actually a prequel. Knowing that made so much more sense - I wish I'd known that when I started the book.

I really enjoyed the writing and the way that books, writing, and writers have so much power. (Because, of course, they do.) There's a little romance, a hefty dose of mystery, and the Satan character is plenty creepy. True to form, he deals in counterfeits, making dangerous and illicit things appear to be desirable or at least acceptable, playing to people's vanity.

My favorite characters were the ones who tried to save David from himself, who found that there are definitely fates worse than death.

Shoot the MoonShoot the Moon by Billie Letts

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a quick read, pleasant enough, but I just didn't like the writing all that much. I picked this up as a bargain book at B&N because I enjoyed Where the Heart Is. To me, this didn't even compare.

View all my reviews


Alison said...

RE: The Angel's Game. You know I was a HUGE fan of Shadow of the Wind but I couldn't get into The Angel's Game. I liked the first part a lot but I don't think he knew what he wanted to do with the ending. It felt rushed. But I will buy his next one, for sure!

Jill said...

It's nice that the majority of these were 4 out of 5 stars!

jenn said...

I liked Angel's Game much more after our discussion! That is one of the many reasons to LOVE book club!

I am SO interested in The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. It sounds like I better drop any preconceived ideas though.

Have I mentioned how much I love and hate these posts- love to see what you think about the books you've read but hate feeling like I'm not really a reader. sigh.

Price Cream Parlor said...

I love when you post your book reviews!

Rebekah said...

I have Cranford in my Netflix queue. Sounds like a good Sunday watch.

I almost bought that lemon cake book. Mostly because I like cake. I'm pathetic.

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