Thursday, July 8, 2010

Books Read This Week

Trash x 2 - Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, in 'Finger Lickin' Fifteen' and 'Sizzling Sixteen' by Janet Evanovich. What can I say ? These books make me laugh out loud.

Not Exactly Trash - The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by the Swedish author who isn't Henning Mankell. Long. Distracting. Lots of pleasingly unfamiliar Swedish names. An unlikable heroine who was thankfully confined to intensive care for most of the book.

Literature - Private Life by Jane Smiley. Not sure if it's a reflection on Jane or on me that I gave up on this book 20 pages in. Something about the way she structures her sentences makes them unreadable for me, I just keep drifting from the page.

The Good Stuff - YA books read as research for Lucy's book club next term.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. Heard Levithan interviewed on The Book Show about this novel - collaboration and was curious to see how it worked. I am so not the target audience for a book about two boys with the same name, dealing with love, depression, acceptance, musicals and coming out. Other than being distracted by the strange sense that one of the characters ( Tiny - large, gay, singer, choreographer, performer ) had stepped out of Glee and straight into this book, it was very readable. Even though part of it is written in instant messaging, something that would normally bother me a lot. It transcends its issues, moves smoothly between each author's voice, ends with hope.

Hope is a major theme in Glenda Millard's A Small Free Kiss in the Dark also. What a beautiful title! A homeless boy in a war-torn city that is not-Melbourne, creates a family for himself, learns to act decisively and learns to love. Sounds sentimental, a little cliched ? Not to me. I enjoyed a earlier book of Millard's, The Naming of Tishkin Silk, which the girls declared 'boring', so I'm curious to know if this more recent novel is one of those kid's books beloved by adults and rejected by the kids themselves. There is a quietness to Millard's prose that may not immediately grab a younger reader, but to watch characters like hers stumble towards love and its varied revelations is a gift.

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