Monday, April 21, 2008

Month of neglect

At least I didn't entirely quit reading; I just ignored my poor little blog for a few weeks. Two books to catch up on since last I stumbled over here: First was Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. While I definitely enjoyed the book, I think I would have liked it better if I had read it at a more relaxing time. As they say (Doris Lessing said it, in fact), each book has its time for each person. It's hard to go wrong with Neil Gaiman, though, and I think I'll check out more of Pratchett's work as well.

Meg Wolitzer's newest book, The Ten-Year Nap, was a very interesting read. It looks at the lives of four women who left their careers to raise their children. Ten years later, their children don't need them quite as much, and they're left to question the meaning of their lives. All four were very different, and I liked the way Wolitzer examined their day-to-day experiences and feelings without being judgmental (though the women certainly judged themselves).

Friday, April 4, 2008

Island turmoil

I didn't really like this book, but it's hard for me to say exactly why. Mister Pip, by Lloyd Jones, is certainly well written, with interesting characters, but the story just dragged for me. It seemed perhaps like there was too much happening -- Jones wanted to get in the political context of the island, but without ever thoroughly explaining it; he wanted to capture the mother-daughter struggles, but those never seemed fully real; and he wanted the quirky Mr. Watts to have his background and reality, but that got a bit lost in everything else. Intermixed with all this is the children learning Great Expectations from Mr. Watts, which were the most engaging parts of the book. I wanted more of that and less of so much else.

I'm including this for the Eponymous Challenge -- though he starts as a character in the book-within-the-book, Pip does actually become a character in a variety of ways.