- Stern Men by Elizabeth Gilbert. Two islands twenty miles off the coast of Maine have been warring with each other since before the Civil War. The islands' industries have evolved over time but since around 1900, it's been lobster. The men are jealous and crafty in guarding their territories. The book centers around Ruth Thomas, whose father is one of the most ruthless of fishermen. In the first three chapters I've read, she seems much too clever and smart for this island. The story seems like it's quite proud of it's quirkiness. It's fraught with quirk. But I love Maine and I love quirk.
- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. I haven't read a good mystery in a while and this one won some award that's plastered on the cover. It's about Flavia de Luce, an 11-year-old girl living in 1950s England who's obsessed with chemistry and torturing her mean older sisters. When a body appears on her family's land, she's fascinated by what could have happened to him. I've read the first few chapters and Flavia reminds me of Harriet the Spy, who I wanted to be like when I was young. I even carried around a notebook and tried to spy on my neighbors for one summer. I discovered that my neighbors were boring. Anyway, she's spunky and fearless and fascinated by poison.
- Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. I recently posted about how much I like Neil Gaiman and how much I'm looking forward to future books but I'm lukewarm about this collection of short stories. If he can't commit to a novel, how can I commit to a bunch of short stories? Someone please remind me of how much I like his writing.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Takes place in 1960s Mississippi and is about black women who take care of white children. It follows a recent college graduate, Eugenia, who decides to collect the stories of these women who are trusted with white children, but finds that their stories are probably too disturbing for white eyes. My best friend, Abby, recommended it and I lived in Mississippi for six years, so I think I'll enjoy it. It makes me wish I could read it with a book group that's never lived in the South, so they could have something to think about that they probably never did before.
- Julie and Julia: My year of cooking dangerously by Julie Powell. If you've seen the movie trailer, then you have an idea of the book that the movie is based on. Julie is sick of her job and is fearing the dreaded age of thirty, so she decides to mix things up by cooking every single recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. I'm a little irritated that someone would be traumatized by turning thirty, but I love books about cooking. I'm game. Seriously, thirty is not old.
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. If my friend Rachel would just quit going on and on about how much she loves this book and how its the best book ever and how she wished she could laminated every single page of it and spend the rest of her life memorizing it in its totality, I wouldn't need to read it. Sheesh. Why don't you just marry it already, Rach? Wait, were you gushing about the movie or the book? Now I can't remember. Shoot, maybe it was the movie and I don't have to read the book after all. It's in England and has to do with the industrial north and the pastoral south and it's kind of Dickens-esque. It's about the middle class women in the Victorian era and looks like something I'd enjoy. I don't know if I would enjoy it to the degree that Rachel does, but it looks worth the time.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I'm not even close to posting anything I've read lately and I'm totally going to blame it on my pregnant brain. Just like my fickle stomach, my fickle brain cannot commit to one book. I've read a few chapters in like, four books, and they are all wonderful and interesting, but I cannot seem to stay put. I decided the only way to get some reading done would be to put the question to you, dear readers. I'm going to give some summaries and try to be a cheerleader for each book so you can make an informed decision.