Bookalicious – 13 September 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!

New This Week

  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
    Pages read: 116 of 252
    I’ve had this book in my to-read pile so long that I don’t even remember where I heard about it or how I obtained a copy. All I know is that when someone else in my book club suggested it as a possible selection, I was excited because 1) I already had the book, and 2) I knew I had wanted to read it for some reason at some time. And oh, I wish I could remember who told me to go read this book, because I think I’d want to give them a kiss. I’m loving every gritty, twisted, alcohol-soaked, disturbed word of this literary murder mystery. Camille, the main character, is a second-rate crime reporter for a fourth-rate Chicago newspaper. Her editor sends her back to her tiny hometown in Missouri to get the scoop on a potential serial killer story when a second girl goes missing. As she tries to get heartwarming quotes from the family members of the victims and squeeze information out of the police, she also tries to avoid her own mother and escape the barrage of horrible memories that come with being back home. Add to the mix an unhealthy obsession with booze, words and pain, a dead half-sister she can never live up to and never stop loving, and a living half-sister she barely knows but who’s unbelievably disturbing, and you have a fascinating and compelling tale to tell. I think I already know whodunnit (though I could always be wrong), but that’s not taking away my enjoyment of the book even a little bit.
  • The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
    Pages read:
    77 or 318
    This is my current selection to review for the VA Festival of the Book, and I am really, really loving it. Dave picked it out for me, and he was spot-on. It’s about three very different sisters who are all experiencing some sort of personal crisis in their lives while, simultaneously, their mother fights breast cancer. They all use the cancer as an excuse to come home and lick their wounds while dealing with their own problems. I imagine that they will all come together to help one another solve their problems or some such thing, discovering they’re more alike than they thought and that they need each other, blah blah blah. The plot is not earth-shattering, but the writing and the character development is fantastic. I want to meet these women, to be a fly on the wall of their parents’ house. The author has constructed a family of voracious readers, people who put down a literary romance novel in the pantry and pick up a 17th-century medical history in the living room, dipping in and out of books like they’re swimming pools. And then she’s given them all personality quirks and problems and annoyances and named them after Shakespeare characters, and the result is hard for a lover of good characters and a lifelong reader (who loves other devoted readers) to put down.

In Progress

Note on in-progress books: 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
    Pages read: 255 of 495
    I’m working my way through and getting more interested in this one, though it still doesn’t have my attention the way other books do. The two books above are stealing my attention from it, but I have a plane ride to Atlanta and a week’s worth of dull evenings there facing me next week, so I might even finish it soon!
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
    Pages read:55 of 754
    I promised myself and even said publicly that I’d pick this one back up…and I haven’t. Oh, historical nonfiction, you just cannot hold my attention the way a novel can!

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.

  • Unforgettable by Loretta Ellsworth
    Read my review on Goodreads
    Baxter, teen boy with a photographic memory, is new in town as he and his mom flee their past. He’s determined that, in this new town, he will achieve two things: he won’t be the weird kid anymore, and he’ll win the heart of his dream girl (who he’s loved since kindergarten). I liked the book for a number of reasons, including the awesome cover art, the interesting yet easy-to-read narrative, and the fact that this is a YA book with a male protagonist (sadly less common than girl-focused YA books). It seemed to me, though, that there were too many factors competing for attention in the story: Baxter’s incredible memory, his mom’s evil ex-boyfriend, an environmentally conscious message, a love-story/coming-of-age story…too much going on. Even so, I liked Baxter as a character and cared about what happened to him, and I enjoyed reading the book.

6 thoughts on “Bookalicious – 13 September 2011

  1. “Poly-reader”… now I know what I am!

    My currents (yes, they are boring reads, Jen, but important!):

    Resist Not Evil (Clarence Darrow)
    The Return of the Great Depression (Vox Day)
    Drive (Daniel Pink)

    and I always have one go to fluff read…

    A Big Little Life (Dean Koontz)

  2. I LOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEE Gillian Flynn! Granted, she’s only put out 2 books, but both are fantastic!

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