Friday, February 11, 2005

Weekend Reading

Thanks to Borders, I had a good reading week. I got sucked in by the "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" table and managed to get 3 books that I really wanted to read. And read them I did! I can recommend all three of them too. In the order that I read them:
  • Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons by Lorna Landvik is an engaging look at a suburban cul-de-sac where the wives become friends, bonding through a book club that is equal parts book club, gossip circle and therapy group. The characters are so developed, so real - I felt bad when I finished the book, like my best friend had moved away.

  • My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult is about a family struggling with a child's illness and how that illness ripples over each family member's life. I went back and forth on this book. I didn't like the writing style, which is of the over-blown, overly self-conscious, I-have-an-MFA-and-I'm-not-afraid-to-use it variety that I find all too often in the "contemporary literature" section. Despite the writing, the book is worth reading because of what it makes you think about. How do you define identity? How do you become defined in terms of yourself instead of in terms of your place in the family? What is a good, meaningful life? How does a mother balance the best interests of her children when they are in direct competition with each other? This book stuck with me long after I'd stopped reading it.

  • Little Children by Tom Perrotta is about marital infidelity, child molesters, and empty surburban lives. Sounds like a real laugh, doesn't it? It actually is - it's tenderly written and you care about these people (except for maybe the molester whom you fear and pity) as they run head-first into an unavoidable trainwreck. The characters are damanged, fragile people who are playing an adult version of Marco Polo - staggering around with their eyes closed and trying to grab happiness.
I hit the library yesterday to stock up for this weekend. Since I enjoyed my week's reading so much, I picked up a couple of books by the same authors - Landvik's Patty Jane's House of Curl and Perrotta's Joe College.

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