March 13, 2011
Before I start talking about reading this morning, I feel compelled to mention the devastating events happening in Japan. I finally had to stop watching the news footage because it was making me feel ill. My heart and prayers go out to the people in Japan who are living this nightmare. It is a reminder that in the face of nature we are very tiny beings. For my book friends over in Japan, please know that I am thinking of you and your families.
I have two book giveaways going on right now: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake (contest ends March 14th), and a 2-book giveaway of Island Girl by Lynda Simmons (contest ends March 19th). Follow the links to learn how to enter.
I absolutely LOVED The Postmistress by Sarah Blake (read my review) – beautifully written, this is an historical novel that touched my heart. TLC Book Tours is touring the book this month and there are links to some good reviews of the book on their site. I waited a long time to read this book – for some reason it didn’t call to me when it was first released. But, having now been completely absorbed in the story, I can’t recommend it enough. Blake’s writing is observant and honest, her characters complex and engaging. I have a feeling this one will make my top ten list for 2011.
I breezed through Henrik Ibsen’s classic play, A Doll’s House, in one sitting (read my review). I never would have picked up this drama had it not been for the folks over at A Year of Feminist Classics. Ibsen was a pretty forward thinking guy. The play was written in 1879 and is surprisingly modern in its view of women. I didn’t love this piece, but I did respect it and its message. I can count on one hand the number of plays I’ve read (mostly Shakespeare), and they are not my favorite reading…but I am glad I read Ibsen’s work. Do you read plays? Have you ever read this one?
Next up in my stacks was Island Girl by Lynda Simmons which I liked but didn’t love (read my review). Simmons takes on Alzheimer’s Disease and its impact on one rather dysfunctional family. She moves back and forth between characters, giving the reader the perspective of not only Ruby (the character with Alzheimer’s Disease), but also that of Grace and Liz, Ruby’s daughters. There is nothing wrong with the writing in this book, but I thought Simmons wandered a bit in the plot. There are several sub-plots and parallel stories which I thought slowed the narration down. That said, readers who like books about families and want to get a feeling for a patient’s perspective on Alzheimer’s Disease will probably enjoy this one. I also think it is a good book club pick because it deals with some interesting themes surrounding medical care – and the ending of the novel is quite controversial.
My current read is Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee. This is a fun, light read so far – one I am enjoying. Have you heard of this book? The reader has to suspend reality a bit, but it is an original tale. I hope to have a review up within a couple of days.
I also want to mention that to celebrate the release of her novel, Lee is having a E-ventful Book Party on Booktrib.com – participants can win some great prizes…and there is an opportunity to enter a photo contest featuring your dog (yes, I’m planning to submit Miss Raven!). Hope to see you there!
Other bookish items from this past week:
- I profiled some of my favorite women authors in honor of International Women’s Day
- I participated in an Atria Books Livestream Literary Salon featuring Jodi Picoult (and a question I posted on Twitter was answered during the event!). Visiting THIS POST on my blog will connect you to the taped event (just play the embedded video).
In the coming weeks, look for reviews and discussion on the following books:
- Every Last One by Anna Quindlen (review to be posted March 30th as part of a TLC Book Tour)
- Picking Bones from Ash by Marie Mutsuki Mockett (discussion of this book will be held on Nicole’s blog on March 26th as part of BOOK CLUB)
- Conversation in the Cathedral by Mario Vargas Llosa (discussion of this book will be held on Richard’s blog on March 29th as part of the Wolves Read-A-Long)
- Separate Beds by Elizabeth Buchan
- The Next World Novella by Matthias Politycki
- A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova
If I get through all of those, there are more in the stacks waiting for my attention!!
What are you doing today? Whatever it is, I hope it involves a GREAT book!