Sunday, October 19, 2014

One I Liked; One Not So Much

Just finished this and it was a pleasure to read:

You may recognize Elizabeth Strout as author of the award-winning Olive Kittridge, a novel in connected short stories. She creates characters that you believe exist and does so with graceful language. Although she is best known for Olive Kittridge,  I feel that her first novel, Amy and Isabelle, is even better.

The Burgess Boys is not her best, in my opinion, but it is worth reading. Each night, I looked forward to picking it up and joining the Burgess brothers as they struggled to reconcile the tragedy that marred their childhood with the places they landed as adults. Some of the characters in this book seemed a little far-fetched, but not enough to make me want to put down the book. Overall, it was a good read.

I also read To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris. This tale of a dentist who becomes obsessed with an anonymous blogger who takes in the dentist's identity online received great reviews. However, I was disappointed in it. Maybe I'm just not deep enough. The story is almost a parable about religion and about real versus virtual worlds. The story seemed to bow too much to the themes he was pursuing. On the upside, I flossed more regularly once I started this book.

But, I must mention his first novel: And Then We Came to the End. This is the only book told in the first-person plural (we) that I enjoyed. It's a humorous workplace story that unearths some of the truths of the daily grind in the current capitalist market. This is a book to savor.

10 comments:

  1. I really love your book reviews. I am very very picky.....I love to read what about what others read about!

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  2. Interesting! I've read Olive Kitteridge and have the Amy one waiting for me. Am not familiat with Joshua Ferris though. I love to hear about new authors. In another life I worked in adult literacy for many years and know first hand the value of reading!

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  3. I felt the very same way as you did about The Burgess Boys, thanks for the other suggestions.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  4. i like the flossing comment....something good came of it anyway!

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  5. Ha! Ha! LOVE the flossing comment! Thanks for the recommendations!

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  6. Nothing better than a good book, you are making me want to dig through my Kindle library!

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  7. Love reading book reviews and adding them to my list (although I've been so busy lately that the only "reading" I've been doing is with audiobooks.....but nothing beats a real book in your hands

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  8. I loved Olive Kitteridge. :-)

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  9. I should probably read anything that encourages flossing, ha! You've read so much with all that knitting, and work too? I don't know how you and the Ravell'd Sleeve do it!

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  10. I had a love-hate relationship with Olive - the character was so often repellant! But the mark of a good book is that I keep thinking about it when its done, and it meets that criterion...

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