Summer Book RoundupJuly 4, 2009
I've been reading, and I keep forgetting to tell you about it, so here you go! A dump of book thoughts!
Charlaine Harris, the Sookie books
First of all, I think Charlaine Harris is a doll. Don't you? I adore the fact that she sold the first Sookie book for $5,000 after publishing 20 or so other books before it. I love that she was able to hire her best friend as her personal assistant. There's a wonderful picture of her here. And her books are just fun. I'm not a big vampire gal -- the Twilight books never grabbed me at all. But I love the HBO series True Blood that is based on her books. Granted, I skimmed the first one, Dead Until Dark, because it was similar to the TV show, and I wanted to get to what happens next. But I loved book two, Living Dead in Dallas. The writing is snappy and funny and fast-paced.
Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care
About a child born with bones as fragile as glass, this book got stuck in my head and hasn't left it yet (which doesn't happen often; books slide in and out of my memory so quickly). At its core, I think it's really about what a mother is and what a mother can bring herself to do. I loved it. Rich and deep.
Deidre Knight, Butterfly Tattoo
I don't know how to begin telling you about this. I should just leave it at this: if you like romance of any flavor, you should read this book. I can't explain the premise behind it and make it sound at all like something you want to read. But I'll try. Okay, Hollywood star scarred by stalker falls in love with man who is mourning his dead (male) partner and trying to raise their pre-teen daughter alone. I KNOW! That's what I said! But it was wonderful, tear-jerking (and my tears, believe it or not, are NOT easily jerked by prose), and I think you should read it. Digital only (I know. Still worth it, even if you don't have an e-Reader. I swear).
Jan Hanff Korelitz, Admission
Has anyone else read this? I don't know what to think. I have never been so ambivalent about a book I liked so well. Does that make sense? No? Okay. Let me try it another way. Korelitz's language is gorgeous, pitch perfect. The story, about a Princeton admissions officer and a familial secret, was fascinating. But every time I put the book down, I wasn't exceedingly moved to pick it back up, even though when I did, I very much enjoyed reading it. I've never felt this way about a book, and I'm not sure what caused it. The narrative was mostly internal reflection, and it's certainly possible that I'm a vapid enough reader that I lose focus when there's not more dialog. But even with that said, I would still recommend it. And I'd love to hear what you thought about it.
Kristan Higgins, Fools Rush In
Pure fun! Wacky hijinks! The best kind! I eat her books up with a spoon. This one had a premise I wasn't sure I could get behind, but I did, and I adored the characters, especially the leading man who, in my mind, looked like a cross between Aidan Quinn and Sam Shepard. And with that last sentence I realize I am perhaps older than I thought I was. My idea of sexy is still rooted in early 90's movies. Huh. That's kind of surprising. That and Johnny Depp. And the guy that plays Eric in True Blood (creepy yum).
Marisa de los Santos, Belong To Me
Did you read Love Walked In? This is its sequel. I'm not done with this one, but I can tell you right now, it's even better. It's one of those books that I can't stand to be not reading, but I'm trying not to read it too fast, because I don't want it to be gone. (Also, it's her second book and I'm busy being WILDLY jealous that this is her sophomore attempt. My sophomore attempt is in the hands of my wonderful agent (who suggested this book, actually), and although it's apples to oranges, I can't help but wonder what the author's process was like.
(Amazon links provided for convenience, but please support your local bookseller.)
And Lala appears to be as verbose as I am today. Go read her Rah-rah-Summer entry (and get a look at that good-looking new nephew of ours!).