Bookalicious – 15 August 2011

My shelves are too bookalicious for you, baby.

I read a lot. Well, not a lot compared to some people, but way more than is probably normal. Sometimes the books I’m reading from week to week will be the same, but I’ll endeavor to let you know what I’m thinking about them as I make progress (or don’t). I am and always have been a poly-reader – meaning I read multiple books simultaneously – so sorry if I give you whiplash. Here’s what’s on my nightstand these days and how I’m feeling about it!

  • The Fairytale Trilogy by Valerie Gribben
    Status: in progress
    Pages read: 60 of 319
    Here’s another book I’m reading to screen for the organizers of the VA Festival of the Book. The book is three novellas all about the same characters, the first of which was written when the author was 16(!). She wrote the second in college and the third her first year of medical school. I will admit that I was somewhat skeptical of how good it would be just because she was so young when she started it all, but I have been pleasantly surprised. I’m still in the first novella at the moment, so it may be a little early to tell, but I’m interested in the story. The main character is a plucky young woman who is about to be married off against her will. She discovers rather quickly that she is not actually the biological child of the people who raised her, that she does have a biological brother, and that her parents left her a small crystal ball that turns into a dragon when she needs a ride and/or protection. It’s not incredibly deep, but the writing is decent, and the characters and story are interesting enough to make me want to know what is going to happen next.
  • Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
    Status: in progress
    Pages read: 49 of 306
    I mentioned last week that I was getting ready to start reading this one for my book club meeting next month. I’ve read exactly one chapter so far, and I’ve already interrupted Dave’s reading twice to chat about weird things in the book. And he was only reading next to me for about 15 of the 49 pages I’ve read so far. I’ve read two of Roach’s other books, and I always find them interesting and funny, so I’m looking forward to the same from this book. So far, so good…

Note on books featured in previous weeks: I’m only posting the book cover the very first time I add the book to the list on the blog, but you can see the covers by following the links in the titles.

  • Moon Women by Pamela Duncan
    Status: in progress
    Pages read: 81 of 495
    Still working on this one! I’ve read a bit further, and the grandmother has come into the picture, likely with dementia, as well as the aunt who never married. The complex relationships among the women in this family are going to be fascinating to follow, I think…
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
    Status: in progress
    Pages read:55 of 754
    No further progress on this one. I just can’t get myself psyched up to read a meaty historical politics book at the moment.

Below are the books I finished this week. If you want to read my full reviews, see the Goodreads links below; for books I’ve finished, I’m planning to give just a five-sentence review on the blog.

  • The Reservoir by John Milliken Thompson
    Status: finished
    My review on Goodreads
    A woman is found dead in Richmond’s reservoir, pregnant, and it soon becomes clear that it was no suicide. The investigation reveals a love triangle between two brothers and the young woman, as well as the fact that she had an incredibly abusive father. This crime and trial are based on a historical trial that took place in Richmond; the author just fictionalized it. This means that there is no resolution to what is the truth at the end of the story, because there was no resolution in real life. That said, the writing is excellent and the story was so compelling that I had a very hard to put it down.
  • Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert
    Status: finished
    My review on Goodreads
    I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed her previous memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, but I did like it. I spent a lot of time thinking about my own marriage while reading, and they were all happy thoughts. I can’t help but marvel at the dedication Gilbert and her now-husband have for each other, considering the massive storms they weathered to get to a happy place. The research and anecdotes about marriage in other times and cultures still seemed relevant to me, even considering my own modern Western beliefs about marriage. I wish the book had been more anecdotal and less research-oriented, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

One thought on “Bookalicious – 15 August 2011

  1. Hi Jen.
    Am really impressed you can keep so mnay books going at once to read.
    I have to do mine one after the other. Am almost finished with one about Anne Boleyn called To Die For.
    The Reservoir sounded good, I mean sad but good, that kind of good. Will check it out on amamzon:)

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