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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Round-Up

Shopgirl by Steve Martin: A lovely little jewel of a novel. I thought the prose was a bit overwritten on occasion, but Martin excels at character development. He has a way of cutting to the core of a character with just a few sentences, and within the first few pages of the book I was invested in the characters and their growth. Although the humor of this novella was more subtle, it reminded me quite a bit of L.A. Story, my favorite Martin movie.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris: I have encountered Sedaris's writing before, in his collection of essays entitled Holidays on Ice (which caused me to vow to never take the Beadboys to see the Macy's Santa). This collection is just as witty and demented. His description of foreigners in a French class in Paris trying to describe Easter in broken French, for the benefit of a classmate who had never heard of it, had me in hysterics on the train. I also learned that Amy Sedaris has an evil, evil sense of humor.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen: After finishing Tristam Shandy I needed something light, and this was perfect -- pretty and fluffy and magical. I really enjoy her books quite a bit, and I am looking forward to the next one.

Blackwork by Monica Ferris: the latest in her needlework mystery series, and as with the others it was an enjoyable read. The "Wiccans are people, too" PSAs were a tad heavy-handed, and the attempts to suggest the Wiccan character may have actual magical or psychic powers were completely ludicrous, but those are minor quibbles. These books are not brilliant or profound or sophisticated, but Ferris does have an ability to create interesting, nuanced, albeit quiet, characters.

The Quick and the Thread by Amanda Lee: On the other hand, this first book in a new needlework mystery series was a total disappointment. The book was filled with flaws such as forced dialogue, absurd leaps in logic, faulty motives, and unrealistic scenarios. Each one on its own was minor, but together they added up to a deeply implausible (and silly) book. The protagonist is driven to solve the mystery because she supposedly needs to clear her name, but only an idiot would have considered her a suspect. The police apparently had no qualms about letting her in on their investigation, and the lawyers did not really act like lawyers (Lee's understanding of what creates an attorney-client relationship almost caused me to throw the book at a wall). Frankly, I was shocked to learn that Amanda Lee is a pseudonym for a woman who has written many other mysteries.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Beadgirl~
    Thank you for visiting my blog today and leaving the most beautiful, descriptive comment on what it is you love about Fall. It was poetic, and I really loved it. I think you summed it up perfectly when you say you "love the mix of melancholy and anticipation". That's brillant. Thanks again for visiting!