Read in December

1. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
I really would have liked this if he had stopped after the first fifty pages or so and made this a short story instead of a novel. As it is, it's okay.

2. The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf
Freaking electrifying thesis on what's behind our ideas of beauty.

3. Green Angel, by Alice Hoffman
Small prose-poemish book. Some parts are very much fable/fairy tale. I really liked it, but it's definitely a matter of taste. Don't read it if you don't like the phrase "made of moonlight and laughter."

4. Story of a Girl, by Sara Zarr
The weird thing about this story is it's set in the town where I worked most of this year, a little coastal suburb down the peninsula a ways. An interesting and original contemporary-realistic YA novel.

5. What I Saw and How I Lied, by Judy Blundell
 I'm not sure how I feel about the plot. There is some extremely striking imagery in this book, though--some moments are downright cinematic. The setting, a post-war 1940s Florida resort town in the off season, is the basis for an overwhelming atmosphere of glamor, restlessness, tension, emptiness, uncertainty, intrigue--it's hard for me to describe, but it's similar to the feeling I got from parts of The Great Gatsby.

6. The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, by Tomas Tranströmer
It took me a while to get into the phrasing of these translations, but once I did, I enjoyed his poetry so much. Glances from one subject to another in a weaving of strong and consistent mood and voice. Beautiful and thought-provoking.

7. Questions About Angels: Poems, by Billy Collins
His poetry isn't what I'm used to; through much of this book I didn't feel as if he was telling me anything important. He does have a rather delightful mastery of language, though.

8. The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan
Didn't really live up to the hype for me. It did pull me in; I read it in a day. My problems are with the unevenness of the pacing, and the main character. Her restlessness is appealing, but I didn't care that much about her, and I really didn't care about her love life (I'm not sure how she could when under constant threat of death by zombie, either...).


Beth Kephart 1/03/2010 4:06 AM  

I love your succinct reviews.

Summermoon 1/03/2010 5:12 PM  

I really want to read 'What I Saw and How I Lied', simply for the title alone.

cuileann 1/03/2010 9:30 PM  

Beth - Why, thank you.

Summermoon - I think you would like it. Tell me when you read it.

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