Friday, February 29, 2008

Reading Update: 2-29

I'm not feeling especially inspired today to write about what I've been reading lately, but I feel like if I don't get 'em down now, they'll just be lost in the ether that is my head lately. So, here it is, with very brief reactions:

Sarah Dunant -- Mapping the Edge

Interesting book. Two parallel stories: That of a woman who has disappeared (possibly of her own accord, possibly under more sinister circumstances) and that of her family left behind. Lovely writing, interesting characters. I really enjoyed it.

Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu -- The Shadow Speaker

This one was for my book group. Didn't much like it, but made myself finish it and then didn't end up being able to go to the meeting, anyway. Grr. As it turns out, I actually went to grad school with the author, and I really did WANT to like the book, partly out of alma mater loyalty and partly because it has a strong female role model for teen girls. But something the writing just kept on jarring me out of the story -- too many grad schoolish references to critics and authors, which were meant, I think, to give the story heft, but instead just felt like the author was trying to show off. Oh well.

Tana French -- Into the Woods

This one was a surprise to me. I'm not normally into murder-mysteries. In fact, I usually make fun of my mom for devouring lots of trashy murder mystery-thriller type books. But this one was very well written, both in literature terms and it's plot. Liked the characters, though I've been watching Dexter lately, and so the only image I could get in my head of the female cop in the book was that of the sister cop, Deb, on Dexter. Probably not true to the author's vision, but I like the character in both cases, so not so terrible. My mom saw this on my kitchen table when she was here for a visit and said "I can't believe you're reading a book that I would like instead of all that literary crap." I think that's her way of calling me a book snob. :-)

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