Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Year of Pleasures - Elizabeth Berg

I think I've enjoyed this author in the past**, so I picked up this title in a used bookstore nearby.  Once again, I enjoy her writing and characters.  This is the story of Betta, a recent 50ish widow who has to start her life over after losing the love of her life.  In little steps and starts and some big changes she moves in to her future.
Her husband left her little notes that she finds after he's gone and she has to decipher their meaning.

Some quotes I liked:
p. 50 - "Healing hurts," someone at John's [her husband] service told me. "But hurting heals".
p. 123 - It seemed to me that every woman past a certain age who looked closely at herself in a mirror had the same reaction: Oh well.
p. 158 - You don't dishonor the one you loved by being happy.
p. 190 - [When caring for a cantankerous woman in a nursing home] John would call it acknowledging the fact that people truly are all connected, and that we are, at least in some sense, meant to care for one another -- all the time, not just in time of catastrophe.

I know her women are a bit too perfect in their understanding and her male characters are not quite real but her stories touch me.

Published: 2005  Read: February 2012  Genre: Fiction

**I've read four other books by her, The Pull of the Moon being my favorite so far.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wicked by Gregory MaGuire

The saga of the Wicked Witch of the West is imagined in this story that became a hit Broadway play which I get to see next month, a Christmas present from my BFF.

I found the book over long with too much description and not enough flow.  I felt sympathy for Elphaba and her search for forgiveness but she never was softened into understanding and compassion.  I remember there were several well-stated observations about human nature, but I didn't mark them and they were drowned in all the words.  My own version of crankiness, I suppose!

Published: 1995  Read: 2/2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

A Christmas present book that I finished up in 3 days is the story of two young people fighting to survive a national tournament to the death in the future.  It's the first in a trilogy and it leaves you wanting to jump right into the next volume.

Is it just because I'm older that this feels like a re-make of Logan's Run?  Or does each generation have to tell a story of the those in power controlling the future generation?  I did find myself rooting for the heroine and her skills and cunning are somewhat plausible.

This is also a "screen play" book, i.e., it's not to hard to see it's easily made into a movie, which is suppose to be out soon.  It was a fun read.

Published: 2008  Read: 2/2012

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