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Posts from — July 2009

MOAM Book Club

It’s that time of year again….the “have-you-read-any-good-books” season.

And, yes, as a matter of fact, I have! Not as many as I’d like – magazines and falling asleep mid-page can do that to a girl. As can watching a bunch of losers being batted into a pool by a mechanical arm. Or seeing how long a slew of idiots can stand being hung from the ceiling in their underwear….. But hey, that’s summer TV. Which is why I’m talkin’ bout books. Even if you’re not a huge reader, in summertime it’s hard to resist the lure of the page. After all, how many times can you go see The Hangover?

OK don’t answer that. But when you’ve had your fill of Mr Chow and the boys, and you’ve admitted that Bruno was boring and that you actually liked The Proposal, then it’s library time. Besides, 500 Days of Summer isn’t out yet…..

Here’s a small list to get you through the rest of the season…..Or at least a couple of weeks…

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill – I actually read this one last summer. Maybe I blogged about it back then too. Whatev. It’s worth a double take because it’s awesome and devastating and impossible to put down – or forget. It’s historical fiction at its most brutal – and most stunning. One of those books you read in two days. And you cry. And you discuss with everyone else who’s read it. And rave about it to those who haven’t. And then they buy it. And read it in two days. And cry. And discuss…And so on. Required reading.

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway is another one. Historical fiction? Check. Well written? Check. Read in a weekend? Check. Brutal? Devastating? Brilliant? Check, check and check. Part character study, part thriller, part morality lesson, it’s a love letter to a city torn apart during our lifetime… as we watched it on the news.

If you like deep and brooding, then The Outcast by Sadie Jones is for you. Set in 1950’s England, join our anti-hero on his hellish journey to prison and back. Innocence lost. Troubled times. Terrible crimes. Or maybe not. Like our main man, you’ll find yourself heartbroken as you look for love beneath the darkness. There’s something familiar about this book, whether in the telling, or the tale, but in a good way. Think Ian McEwan….

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell isn’t the most brilliant book of all time, but it’s extremely readable. A young woman learns she is the only surviving relative of an aunt she never knew existed – a woman who didn’t play by the rules, who was ahead of her time. While it’s tempting to simply file this away under “women’s fiction”, it’s much more than that…
And it’s by the woman who wrote After You’d Gone, so how bad can it be? (If you haven’t read that one, grab some kleenex and start)

Is this more like a winter reading list? Is it getting too heavy for you? Had enough of the depressing stuff?

Sunnier times can be found in I Love You Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle. The author was one of the writers on The Simpsons and Beavis and Butthead. Need I say more? The book opens with the class Valedictorian giving his graduation speech… and announcing his love for the most popular girl in school. School’s out, so wat’s he got to lose, right?? With snappy dialogue and genius coming-of-age moments, it’s no big surprise that this one’s coming soon to a theater near you. The book’s hi-larious. The movie? Who knows…

The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is more of a conversation piece than a thumping good read. Those who like Mr. Gladwell, like him a lot. And no wonder. He dissects pop culture and makes you feel like a smartypants as he articulates things you never knew that you knew (does that make sense?) This is great for idle party chatter. Or dates.

10 Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer had all the gals talking last year. Except me who had to wait for the paperback version. Again, “women’s fiction” to be sure, but resonated with, erm, some people as it’s about a group of moms who ditch their promising careers to stay home with their kids. Of course, one day they “wake up” to find their kids at school and themselves… erm… lost in their own mundane lives. If that sounds at all familiar, then give it a whirl, if only for the “hey! I-know-her/she’s-me” moments.

Last, but by no means least, make sure Bitter Sweets by Roopa Farooki is in your cottage bag. This one’s an intricate, inter-generational story about an Indian family. A family whose very foundations are laid on lies and deceit. These folks aren’t grifters exactly, more like “spicers”, whose stretching of the truth will catch up with them, eventually. This one’s a fun, clever, soap-opera of a novel. Perfect for summer. Or any time.

Enjoy……

1 comments:

Anonymous said…

al;ways a good blog this reading list! I have had the Book of Negroes next to my bed for months. I also want to read every other one on thelist. Of course I never get to read as I am too busy seeing the Hangover twice! I feel my 10 year nap will not only be related to kids, but to reading as well. I need a vacation just to read!

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July 10, 2009   No Comments

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