Daily Archives: January 6, 2007

Books I read in December 2006 – Reviews

I had a good reading month in December despite the craziness joy of the Christmas season. All the books I read were wonderful, save for one which bored me to tears – I quit reading less than 50 pages in (Ohio Town, by Helen Hooven Santmyer).

From best to worst…here they are:

The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield
Rated: 5/5
Read for: BookiesToo Reading Group

Click here for my review of this book.

The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, by Ellen Feldman
Rated: 5/5

A very human glimpse into the aftermath of the horrors of the Holocaust and what it might be like to survive something one would rather forget. Feldman’s prose is simple and eloquent and raises questions about faith, fear, denial, the fragile nature of memory, and how far one might be willing to go to protect a secret about their past. The impetus for this novel came during the author’s visit to the historic Secret Annex where Anne Frank, Peter and their families hid until being discovered and arrested by the Nazi’s. A guide remarked that the fate of all of the Annex’s inhabitants was documented except for Peter’s. This was later discovered to be untrue…but not until Feldman was far along in her research and writing of this remarkable book. The story is a tale of who Peter might have been had he survived; and explores how he could have reacted to the publication of The Diary of Anne Frank.  Feldman creates an unforgettable character in Peter; one who haunted my dreams long after finishing the novel. Highly Recommended.

The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
Rated: 4.75/5
Read for: BookAMonth Reading Group; and Winter Classics Challenge

Click here for my review of this book.

Back When We Were Grownups, by Anne Tyler
Rated: 4.5/5

Anne Tyler has her finger on the pulse of humanity. She creates unforgettable characters who live on long after her novels are finished. Back When We Were Grownups is no exception. Tyler reveals her characters flaws and strengths with biting humor and raw emotion. Rebecca, widowed at a young age, is the heart and soul of her extended family – the Daviches. One day she begins to question who she has become and how her life might have unfolded had she chosen a different path in life. Her journey to “the fork in the road” and back will make you laugh and cry at the same time. A wonderful book.

Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
Rated: 4/5
Read for: Banned Books reading group

One of the most banned books of all time, Slaughterhouse Five is a satirical, quirky tale that pokes funs at sexuality and religion, and reveals war as a pointless and horrific endeavor. Vonnegut’s story is part autobiography, and part science fiction. Odd, yet blackly funny, this is a book that should be read simply because so many people think it shouldn’t be.

Ohio Town, by Helen Hooven Santmyer

Rated: 1/5

I wanted to like this one since “…And Ladies of the Club” has been on my all time favorite book list for years. But, Santmyer fills her novel with dull descriptions that I found myself re-reading because my mind kept wandering. I have to admit, I didn’t make it to 50 pages in this one. Boring. Not recommended.