December 7, 2010

2010 Book Club Review-Updated

While there wasn't a standout, across the board, we love it book like The Help in our 2010 book selection, there were quite a few books I really liked and the Millennium trilogy was a major score. In order from January to November (we learned from last year that a December book was too ambitious.)

Olive Kitteridge A- I really liked this book. Olive Kitteridge is not what you'd call a likable character. She's not particularly warm, she's opinionated and in some cases, more than a little spiteful. She's human. The book is not a single narrative, but several stories and viewpoints. In some, she accounts for just a small part of the overall story. But each offers a glimpse into her life in a small Maine town.

A Room With a View N/A At the end of 2009, we decided to include a classic in our book selection. In honor of Valentine's Day, we read this book since it was deemed ever so romantic. For whatever reason, each time I picked up the book I couldn't get into it. So I ended up watching the movie. No matter, my feelings about the movie were the same as those who read the book: annoyed.

There are some stories that fail to hold up in today's society. This and Miss Saigon would be two of them. Romeo and Juliet as star-crossed lovers I can buy, because of the writing, the setting, the whole romantic nature and longing coupled with the fierce hatred of the families and the dire consequences of their situation. Its straight up tragic. This book, not so much.

The Piano Teacher A- Its fair to say this book was one of my favorites. I liked 75% of the book. The author had a great concept, interesting characters and unbelievable imagery. Reading this book opened new understanding of World War II and the things people will do to survive. But, it fell apart for me in the end.

Superfreakanomics N/A April was busy month and I didn't get to this one. I still have it and am hoping to get to it over the holidays.

The Millenium Trilogy The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo A, The Girl Who Played with Fire A+ and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest* A- I don't ever read crime or mystery books. Not my genre and they all seem the same. But these books, even with the brutality in the first one especially, captured my attention. I'm glad I waited to read them until all three had been released. So good. And the mystery and intrigue around Stieg Larsson's life certainly didn't hurt.

*Technically we didn't read the third book for book club. Our plan is to discuss it at our December meeting if people got around to reading it.

Updated. I couldn't figure out why my book count was off; turns out I was counting a book club pick as one of the other books I read in 2010.

The Devil in the White City A I found this book to be absolutely riveting. True life, fictionalized crime. So interesting. This was the first fiction(ish) book I had listened to on CD. This story in particular lent itself to being listened to. I found myself looking for opportunities to put my headphones on and follow along.

A Reliable Wife C- For such strong recommendations from various publications, this book was a stinker. The story itself was interesting. Or at least the idea of the story was interesting. The writing was sloppy, flowery and predictable. A disappointment for being a number one best seller.

Half Broke Horses A I just adore Jeannette Walls and her stories. This book is the tale of her maternal grandmother and its just astounding. For anyone who thinks they can't, read this book and you will know that you can.

A Thousand Splendid Suns B+ This book was a fast read and one I had been meaning to pick up for a long time. Everything about Afghanistan is so depressing. Reading this and the Kite Runner provided a glimpse and an idea of what the country was like before, and it is heartbreaking to think of how much culture and heritage have been stomped on.

1 comment:

Lora said...

I'm definitely on board with Jeanette Walls. I'm reading The Glass Castle right now and am pretty pleased with it!