Irreverent Mama

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Books. Books, books, and more books. How I love my local library...

February and March's list:

1. Jitterbug Perfume, Tom Robbins. Seriously weird book. Funny, in a darkish and weird sort of way. Not sure if I'd recommend it... but wouldn't discourage someone from attempting it, either.

2. Understanding Menopause, Janine O'Leary Cobb. Useful, informative. No magic bullets, sadly. :-)

3. Asking for Love, Roxana Robinson. A collection of short, sad stories. Lovely little things, beautifully crafted... but a story isn't required to be sad/wistful to be meaningful. I wonder about the mental state of Ms. Robinson.

4. Naked Once More, Elizabeth Peters. Mystery story about a murdered author, entertainingly untangled by another author, as written by a third (real-life)one. Lots of fun.

5. Toss the Bride, Jennifer Manske Fenske. Very silly. Very shallow. Good entertainment for a 15-year-old... or a lazy 40-something looking to pass the time with no mental effort.

6. Keeping the World Away, Margaret Forster. I gave up at the end of the first section, 86 pages in. By then I should have had more than the vaguest of clues what was going on, right? That probably says more about my (lack of) mental prowess than the author's skill, I'm sure, but I couldn't finish this one.

7. Bitter Chocolate, Lesley Lokko. Starts in Haiti, bounces around the States and Britain. The book follows three women, but though a tenuous connection is forced by the author, the third woman (a spoiled rich thing) has no real bearing on the other two, nor on their stories. I have no idea why she's in the book. Not an awful book, but not one I'd go out of my way to read, either.

8. The Old Country. Yawn. It reads like a British sitcom of the more predictable variety, meaning that I get exasperated with the character's inability to step outside their foibles, even when they are a) aware of them and b) aware of the problems they cause... but that's expecting way too much for a genre that's nothing more than character-slapstick. It meandered along endlessly, going nowhere in particular. Without an appreciation of the humour [character does something supremely inept, insert laugh track here] there was nothing there. Yawn.

9. Quite Honestly. I have this title written on a scrap of paper, but (quite honestly) I've returned it to the library already and have forgotten what it was about... Oh, wait. Just googled it, read the first line, and remembered. A girl decides to help rehabilitate a fellow just out of jail, falls in love with him and becomes a petty criminal in order to "understand" him, even as he successfully goes straight. None of the characters are all all convincing, and so there is no sympathy possible for this ridiculous woman and her ludicrous actions. It's supposed to be humour, but it misses.

10. Just Jane. "A novel of Jane Austen's Life". It was okay. Worth reading if you like Austen, but otherwise not.