2006 Book List 1 - 5

1. Chocolat by Joanne Harris. The movie is a favorite of mine, but I'd never gotten around to reading the book. For being the same basic story, they're very different. This might be one of the few times I'm glad I saw the movie first, because, with the story told first person by two different narrators, I think it's a little vague on setting and character description, but so much better on motivation.

2. Three Junes by Julia Glass. A narrative on one family, as they go through lives and deaths, told by three different characters. I can't believe this is Ms. Glass's first novel, it's so well written. Three distinct voices, four distinct settings, and they run so smoothly together, it's like being at a family dinner table.

3. Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin - This book shows up on a good many recommended reading lists for the genre, so I figured, it must be good. Heck, even the people at Random House think it's a classic, including it in their "Modern Library of the World's Best Books", presumably because they thought they needed something representing gay lit. Well, all I can say is, we've come a long way baby. A long way in what is considered good literature, that is. It's a well told story, with a great sense of place, but a classic? Maybe because the story being told in such bold manner at the time made it important, but honestly, I don't think it holds up all that well. There are better books that cover the same ground. It's a good, fast read (it's a novella, not a novel) but for the amount of prestige this book has been given, I was disapointed.

4. Inamorata by Joseph Gangemi- I loved this book! It's funny but not fluffy, smart but not academic, and full of interesting characters and details. A slightly geeky but very endearing grad student gets involved with a project to disprove the talents of various psychics in the 1920s. The story centers around his part in the investigation of a young and pretty medium who he thinks might be in danger, but from what, he doesn't know. He attempts to become the romantic hero of her complicated life, even though he knows she may be a fraud and doesn't need rescuing. His brain leads him one way, his heart (and libido) another. The story is a great blend between RomCom and armchair detective story, and (much to my surprise!) one of the very few books where the dust jacket blurbs didn't exaggerate.

5. A Stroke of Midnight by Laurell K. Hamilton. Although I was never a fan of Ms. Hamilton's better known Anita Blake series, I did, once upon a time, enjoy reading her Meredith Gentry books. No more. I kept with this one out of nostalgia, waiting for something, anything, to happen that hadn't happened in the previous books. It's the same plot, same characters, same relationships between the characters, same sex scenes, same everything.

powered by performancing firefox

No comments: