Playing Catch-Up

Oh yeah, I have a blog… Here are some catch-up reviews for you. I’ll do several catch-up posts and see if I can keep up a little better. My bad blogger excuses are being pregnant and tired coupled with the fact that I write a lot of blog posts for work. I actually read these books at the beginning of 2011! Bad blogger!

The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis – This book was a bit of a disappointment. I had heard so many great things about it from various bloggers, but it just didn’t do much for me. The parts of the novel that took place in the past were good, and I really loved some of the characters. Unfortunately, I didn’t get interested at all in the story for about 250 pages, and that is too long to read the boring story that took place in the present day. The present day scenes were also all telling and no showing, which makes for quite the dull reading experience.

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien – This book was excellent. I can’t recommend it enough. This is a fictional novel in the form of shorter stories that was inspired by O’Brien’s own experiences in the Vietnam War. Everything about the story and O’Brien’s writing style was absolutely perfect. I plan to choose this as a book club selection because it is very thought provoking. Please read this book.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett – I was worried after the awesomeness that was The Things They Carried, that no book could follow it. I was wrong. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett is a moving and beautifully written story of a hostage situation in an unnamed South American country. The captors get in over their heads, and the situation goes on for longer than they had planned. The story of the relationships formed through a translator, Gen, make up the brunt of the story. Aside from a strange and unnecessary epilogue, everything about this novel was excellent. I chose it for book club, and it was very well received.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – I think my Goodreads review pretty much sums it up: I need to read more Capote. I have always loved the movie with Audrey Hepburn and had heard that it is significantly different from the novella. I think it’s best to treat them as separate entities. Hollywood left out all of the darkness and unlikable aspects of Holly and turned the story into a romantic comedy instead of the sad friendship between a glorified call girl and a gay man. I love both stories. Capote’s prose is wonderful.

Suze Orman’s Action Plan: New Rules for New Times by Suze Orman – I read this for work, but mostly on my own time so I’ll list it here. This is a good book if you need a financial cheerleader, but don’t expect much depth or explanation of how to achieve the outcomes she suggests. Anyone looking for a good basic personal finance book should check out The 10 Commandments of Money by Liz Weston. This has loads of practical advice that Orman never touches. So I guess I don’t need to review that one now. Done!

Stay tuned for more mini-reviews soon!

4 thoughts on “Playing Catch-Up

  1. Doomsday was saved for me when she realized when in the past she was and the closing scenes. I was also left sort of “meh” by the 21st century scenes (at least until people started dying) — I think there’s supposed to be some “Englishness” to those scenes that could be lost on us.

    I have heard that “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is really good, but I’ve only read “In Cold Blood”. I should really read more Capote. Sounds like a New Year’s Reader Resolution. 😉

  2. I loved Doomsday – I don’t remember it being so many pages before she got to the past! The bit that really sticks with me is the withered apple rolling from the hand of the dying girl. Brrrr!

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