Because I don’t talk enough about books

10 Sep

Usually I read 2 or 3 books at the same time.  Some people may find that confusing but I don’t.  It’s not as if I can’t concentrate on one book.  It’s more like I am eager to read so many books that if I don’t have 2 or 3 going, I feel like I’m falling behind.

So, here’s some books I’ve recently read and a few that I’m currently reading.  Enjoy!

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
In her latest book, Quindlen steers the reader through the everyday life of Mary Beth Latham and her family: twin boys who are as different as night and day; Ruby, the eldest, who has the confidence and grace of a woman twice her age; and Mary Beth’s husband with whom she steals time alone when possible.  Of course, nothing is perfect.  One of the boys becomes depressed and starts seeing a psychiatrist.  Ruby’s had her issues, too, and her latest one is a boyfriend who just won’t take the hint.  Then, right as the reader is feeling settled in the pace of the novel, a drastic turn is taken; a violent act shakes the Latham family dynamic and is forever changed.  Quindlen’s writing, as it has in years past, tugs at the heartstrings.  As with her other books, the reader will be compelled to continue reading, despite the hard subject matter.  I wanted to cry throughout the last half of the book.  It was both heartbreaking and gut wrenching but ultimately, Mary Beth’s strength, when she finds it, was comforting.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Fans of Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells will enjoy this book.   Just before her 9th birthday, Rose discovers she possesses the power to taste people’s feelings through the food they cook.  It starts with her mother’s lemon cake in which Rose tastes despair.  Her mother seems perfectly happy on the outside, but as Rose continues to eat her mother’s meals, she realizes how unhappy her mother really is.  At school, Rose eats out of vending machines because they’re stocked with factory-produced food that won’t depress her.  Machines, after all, don’t have feelings.  Still, she has to endure dinner with the family and all her mother’s feelings along with it.  A few years go by and when Rose bites into her mother’s dinner one night, she discovers euphoria and guilt mixed together.  Her mother, Rose discovers, is having an affair.

The book is not just about Rose and her special skill.  Joseph, her older brother, retreats into himself throughout the years, so still and quite that it’s like he’s just a piece of furniture in the room.  Her oblivious (to the affair, at least) father slowly opens up to Rose, although he still holds his past closely to his chest, protecting it.  Throughout the book, Rose tries to run from her skill, but in the end she begins to find a way to make it work for her and not against her.  The plot alone is compelling but what’s even more compelling is the little quirks the characters pick up along the way.

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
I just started this book yesterday but it has already captured my attention.  Laurel wakes up in her cookie-cutter house in her cookie-cutter neighborhood one night to find a girl standing at the end of her bed.  The girl leads Laurel to the window that overlooks the backyard.  There, Laurel sees someone floating face down in her pool.  She rushes downstairs and finds that it is the same girl who was in her bedroom.  (Cue dramatic music.)  This is about as far as I’ve gotten but already Jackson has hinted that there has been an “accidental” death in Laurel’s past and I’m eager to see if my theories are right.  So, while I don’t have much to say about this book yet, I do want to say that I’m enjoying it so far and the writing is pretty decent (I’ve never read Jackson before).

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
I’ve mentioned Ally Carter before and recommended her Gallagher Girl series.  This is the 4th and latest in that series.  In this adventure, Cameron and her friends are trying to figure out why a society called The Circle of Cavan is after Cameron.  They also want to know why their old teacher Mr. Solomon is suddenly wanted by the CIA.  And they’re trying to figure out just who killed Cameron’s father and why.  Who can be trusted?  Mr. Solomon?  Zach, the cute boy from the boys’ spy school Blackthorne?  The MI6 operative who has taken over Mr. Solomon’s class?  Cameron and her friends aren’t sure but something tells me that they’re going to find out.

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Posted by on September 10, 2010 in Literature


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