Sunday, April 30, 2006

the books i loved this month

Of the books i read in April these are the ones i liked the best:

I'm just finishing up Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. It's a young adult novel, with a supernatural twist, very well written, and it keeps you reading from the first page to the last, very intense feel.

I read two memoirs: Sleeping with Cats by Marge Piercy, one of my favorite authors, the title appealed to me for somewhat obvious reasons though it's not entirely about cats (she says cats have been the one constant in her life); and Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman, a new favorite author. Susan Gilman is about the same age as i am and though she grew up in New York City the Jewish daughter of "hippie" parents i could totally relate to this book--plus she is so funny i'm also picking up her Kiss My Tiara: how to rule the world as a smartmouth goddess. we did an online chat with her at my library which was great. I read Sleeping with Cats intermittently while reading other books--it wasn't quite as engaging as some novels but it was still very interesting. Each chapter closed with a poem, i am not as familiar with Piercy's poems though i've read all her novels--she has lead a very interesting life she is the same age as my mother though her life has been very different. Definitely check it out.

I finally read Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos after having it recommended by i don't know how many people. And now i'm recommending it myself--it's a first novel, a quick and enjoyable read, but not not all sunny and happy. My one complaint is that things get to be a bit coincidental--but you know life can be like that sometimes--really it can (i know sometimes in my own fiction i have to rewrite reality to make it more believable).

Historical/ Romance/ Fiction/ Mystery/ Novel The Illuminator by former teacher/librarian/ historian Brenda Rickman Vantrease is a book that pulled me in so deeply that i absolutely had to purchase my own copy after having checked out a library copy to host an author chat. Based in fourteenth century England--this gives you some idea of what it would be like if church and state were not separated and it definitely does not end happily ever after (don't want to spoil it for you but don't want you to get slammed in the face either).

When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka is a beautiful book that can be read in a single day. It is the story of an American-Japanese family's internment during World War II. The type of novel that you devour and are left wanting something just as good to follow it with.

The novel Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Julie See might be just the ticket. Although it is about twice as long Emperor it is just as involving (if not more so). It can be depressing at times, i found the this woman's narrative of growing up as a woman in China fascinating.

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