Friday, November 02, 2012

books 2012: #36-41

Light on SnowLight on Snow by Anita Shreve

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can count on Anita Shreve for a quick read that isn't too heavy, but still satisfies.

State of WonderState of Wonder by Ann Patchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I never knew I could be so interested in the Amazon! Such lush descriptions, I almost could feel what it was like to be there. (And I'm never ever going there, so it's definitely the closest I will get.)

This book is so intelligent and well-written, and has such interesting characters, it confirms my love of Ann Patchett. This might be my favorite of her novels, though it's been a long time since I read Bel Canto, so I guess the jury's still out.

The Light Between OceansThe Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting read about a couple who live on a remote island where a small boat washes up with a baby inside. Definitely shows her our choices can affect others and determine the course of our lives.

I Am Half Sick Of Shadows (Flavia De Luce, #4)I Am Half Sick Of Shadows by Alan Bradley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A quick, fun read. Follows the formula of the others in the series, but I like Flavia enough to keep reading.

The Transit of VenusThe Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this up because I read that it was Anita Shreve's favorite novel, the one to which she compares all others. With an intriguing description like that, I had to read it.

It was slow going for the first third or so. Hazzard's writing is dense and verbose, and doesn't lend itself to fast reading. Eventually, I became interested enough in the characters and their lives that I couldn't leave them alone.

When I got to the end, I wasn't sure what had happened, so I turned back to the beginning and read the first few pages, where I knew there was some foreshadowing. I'm still not exactly sure what happened! But at least I have a vague idea.

Bottom line: beautiful language, interesting characters, but there aren't many redeeming qualities to be found and it is not a quick, easy read by any means.

3.5 stars.

Half EmptyHalf Empty by David Rakoff

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars.

I think I was expecting a bit more, but it turns out that I heard almost all the best parts on the episode of This American Life that was dedicated to Rakoff after his death from cancer. Half Empty has some truly hilarious parts, and some insightful and witty parts, and a few parts that seemed like long, rambling digressions to me.

Still, it was worth the read, and Rakoff's death is truly lamentable. He was a great talent.

View all my reviews


patsy said...

What a GREAT review post- I think I'm going to have to actually buy State of Wonder now!!

HOw did your family survive the storm? Thinking of them all!

Jill said...

You're tearing it up!

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