Townhouse Books

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Roundup of Recent Reads

Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About: by Mil Millington
Amusing ending, amusing parts, but overall suffered from a weak plot involving a university and the Chinese mafia and weariness resulting from the main characters' constant mean battles. I was all set to love it, but somehow didn't. (I'm still very fond of the other one of his.)

The Accidental: by Ali Smith
*Yawn* Couldn't get past page 25. She can get shortlisted for all the Booker prizes she wants, but I give up.

The Center of Everything: by Laura Moriarty
Sweet novel about a girl growing up in Kansas. Covers big and small themes of love, friendship, religion, evolution, single mothers, limits and disabilities, abandoned kittens, and science fairs.

The Greenlanders: by Jane Smiley
I love Jane Smiley and always will. This book was a job though. A job I enjoyed, mind you, but it was work nonetheless to get through this dense work spanning three generations of Greenlanders at the end of the 14th century. I like the names, and the use of dottir at the end of a woman's surname. (Her father's name plus dottir, like her brother would have son.) A few times I thought of quitting it in the middle somewhere, but found myself drawn back to it every time.

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2 Comments:

  • I felt the same way about Greenlanders. If you've never read any of Sigred Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter novels you should check them out -- Undset won the Nobel Prize in 1928, and the books have a life to them that Smiley either doesn't achieve or isn't trying for.

    By Anna, at 9:20 AM  

  • Re: Things My Girlfriend and I... , I think since that was the first one of his I'd read, it'll have a weird glow around it in my head. I don't think I can be rational about it. I think it was the first book to make me laugh really, really hard. But again... I'm totally not rational.

    And I felt much the same about Greenlanders! I enjoyed it, but had to be ready to pick it up. It wasn't a casual read. That said, I was really caught up in the feel of a society winding down.

    By lillygog, at 10:41 AM  

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