Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Five Books of 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009 by Audrey
So...I'm behind on these. These reviews will be short but sweet.

26. Old School, by Tobias Wolff. Finished March 29. 2 hours.
An interesting look at the effect visiting authors have on a group of prep school boys and the way that other people's work can have a powerful effect on a reader. It was okay.

27. Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl. Finished March 30. 10 days.
Liked the first 50 pages, hated the next 45 pages, liked the last 100 pages. Once you figure out how the author is going to twist the story on the protagonist, it becomes interesting again. A look at deception, charisma, and conspiracy theories. Not really, but that's how I saw it.

28. The Market, by JM Steele. Finished March 30. 2 hours.
What happens when being well-liked and popular overtakes everything else? YA Novel. Pretty great.

29. Alice in the Know, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Finished April 1. 3 hours.
30. Alice on Her Way, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Finished April 2. 3 hours.
31. Dangerously Alice, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Finished April 3. 2 hours.
32. Almost Alice, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Finished April 3. 2 hours.
These are the newest offerings in the Alice series, which I really loved in high school. I always thought the author did a great job of portraying the reality of life as a girl. But now that Alice is an older teenager, it didn't feel as real to me because of the level of sexual activity she has. That wasn't reality for me and my friends in high school. They made me uncomfortable. Don't read them unless you want all your illusions about the innocence of the Alice character to be shattered. Good writing, though.

33. High Dive, by Tammar Stein. Finished April 3, 3 hours.
YA Novel about learning to open yourself up to new experiences and new people and not being so afraid of losing control. It's a good lesson for me to learn.

34. The Uncommon Reader, by Alan Bennett. Finished April 5, 1 hour.
A short read. My grandma made me read it on vacation, but I was glad she did. A cute speculative look at what a newfound love of reading would do to the Queen of England.

35. Hot Water, by P.G. Wodehouse. Finished April 6. 1 week.
Good old Wodehouse. He never fails to make me laugh out loud through the last half of his books. Loved it!

36. The Yiddish Policeman's Union, by Michael Chabon. April 8. 2 days.
Well-written, but it didn't grab me by the first page like Kavalier and Clay did. The last hundred pages were fabulous. I love the relations he builds between his characters.

37. The Final Solution, by Michael Chabon. April 9. 2 days.
Chabon's attempt to popularize books written in the style of Sherlock Holmes. I didn't much like it. Luckily, it was short.

38. The Winter of our Discontent, by John Steinbeck. April 12. 2 days.
What happens when the desire to be wealthy overtakes all other moral considerations? What happens when your moral center comes back? Good read. I've always liked Steinbeck. Except for The Grapes of Wrath. Even though that's his most famous work, I couldn't get into it. I love East of Eden, though.

39., by E.L. Konigsberg. April 17. 1 day.
Eh. It was okay. Not the same caliber as her Newberry-winning books or some of her others. It tied into another one I've read that she wrote (but whose plot I've completely forgotten), but doesn't stand well on its own.

40. The Edible Woman, by Margaret Atwood. April 22. 5 days.
I love Margaret Atwood. The Handmaid's Tale was hugely impressive. This one was too. A woman's fight to not have her personality subsumed by her fiance's. Atwood always writes so well about feminist issues.
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