Wednesday, September 29, 2010
"Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes" by Elizabeth Bard
My grade: C+
I'm not really sure what to say about this one. It's a mediocre book, full of cliches and a misguided purpose. Like so many writers out there, you get the feeling that Bard, too, wanted to just write something rather than actually impart a message. If this is a book about Paris or Parisians, there is neither enough focus on that (for my taste) nor enough sentimentality to win the reader over. If this is a book about Elizabeth Bard, her life story simply isn't interesting or unique enough to read. And if this is a cook book, I've seen better! Lesson to be learned from this: read books that have a purpose.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
"Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow" by Peter Hoeg
My grade: B
This is a thriller/mystery novel, taking place in Denmark and Greenland, with the original version written in Danish. This is a very educational novel on a number of different levels. Firstly, I learned a lot about Danish and Greenlandic cultures, and the relationship between these two countries, which I knew nothing about. Secondly, I learned a tremendous amount about different kinds of ice and snow, and large boats. If I haven't piqued your interest quite yet, then let me also say this: it's a very-well written novel, with exceedingly interesting characters (even if it is difficult to keep track of them sometimes) and an action-packed plot. Worth a read.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
"Bloodroot" by Amy Greene
My grade: A-
For those of you not very familiar with 'hickville' of the U.S. (such as me), this is a good introduction. This is a novel, in ways quite deep, describing what many would label as typical American, and yet, a life I neither recognize nor can relate to. It's wonderfully-written, seldom sentimental, often times piercing and shocking, yet unpretentious. I'm very curious to see what else Greene has to offer.