June 8, 2010

Bookbag - May

If April was "finish 15 books month," then May was "don't finish books" month. I started quite a few books, but I didn't seem to like very many of them. Living the belief that there are too many good books out there to bother with the bad ones. I moved on.

Anthill - E. O. Wilson
This was probably the highlight of my month. Wilson is the Pulitzer prize winning author of Ants and On Human Nature. In his first attempt at fiction he manages to weave a tale that educates while it entertains. His writing is lyrical and bewitching. In the end I cared as much about the ants as I did for Raff. I have recommended this book over and over. Now I get to do it again. Read this book.

How Lincoln Learned to Read - Daniel Wolff
I just found this one boring. I didn't get past Sojourner Truth.

Life After Death - Carol Muske-Dukes
I thought I would like this when I started, but by the time I got to page 93 I no longer cared what happened to the characters. I put it down and picked up something different.

Simplicity Parenting - Kim John Payne
More of the same old thing. I'll spare you a few hours of unnecessary reading ... turn off the t.v. and cut out some of your child's activities. Spend more time with them. There. That is the whole book. Don't bother.

The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordin
We love Mr. Riordan around here so we were very excited to jump into his newest series, The Kane Chronicles. I liked it, but J. loved it. He said the Egyptian gods are even better than the Greek gods. I thought he tried to hard. The Percy Jackson books seemed to flow from a real love of ancient history and story telling. This seemed a little contrived.

Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (Audio Book)
This was my in-car audio selection for May. I really enjoyed it, but I am not sorry I waited until now to attempt it. I would not have liked or understood it when I was younger.

Let the Great World Spin - Colum McCann
Well, I finished this one, but I had to force myself to do it. I joined a new book club ... actually I started it with a close friend of mine and this is the first selection (I did not make it). It was o.k., but I was bored. Some of the characters were intriguing, but I would have gotten more from the book if the connections had been more obvious earlier. I did not enjoy trying to flesh them all out on my own. The most interesting man was the one I thought McCann should have spent much more time on ... Phillipe Petit. He wrote him into to the story, but only as a connection. Six degrees of Petit. I think his story was more interesting to me than McCann's book.

The Broken Teaglass - Emily Arsenault
A mystery that wasn't really mysterious.

Reflections In A Golden Eye - Carson McCullers
Needing a book to restore my faith in the American novel, I turned to old friends at the end of the month. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter would probably rank on my personal Top 10 list. This, McCullers second novel, did not disappoint. I did not enjoy this one as much as the first; but here, her writing was wonderfully concise. The story moved and flowed. It made sense to me. It is so nice to have those authors that you can turn to when everyone else seems to be failing you.

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