Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vacation roundup

A much busier vacation than usual, which meant less time for sitting and reading. Still a respectable book count, though:

1. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. I expected to like this much more than I did. It wasn't bad, but after all the fabulous critical reviews, I thought there would be more to it. It was quite plot driven, without a lot of depth to the characters, and it often felt like she wasn't sure whether she was writing a novel or nonfiction -- it really would have been more effective had she been able to choose one or the other.

2. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. Yet another where my expectations were a bit too high. I really like most of Hornby's fiction, but this one felt a little slow to me. I might have liked it better if I had read it closer to when it was originally published.

3. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. Best of the bunch. Yates examines the lives of a young, suburban married couple who realize their lives aren't as extraordinary as they had planned. All of the characters here, even minor ones, were so clearly developed and heartbreakingly real There's a movie version coming out in December, I've learned (which explains why this was on display at the library), with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as the main characters. I think Kate Winslet is just right for the part, but I'm not as sure about DiCaprio. The stills on look good so far, though.

4. The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie. It's not vacation without an Agatha Christie in the mix. This wasn't one of the best, but still satisfying. (As usual, I can't find an cover image of the actual copy I read -- her books have had way too many covers! Perhaps I'll start taking my own pictures eventually.)

5. What I Was by Meg Rosoff. The best part about this book? It only took me an afternoon to read it. Dull, anticlimactic, just bleh.

6. The Summer of Naked Swim Parties by Jessica Anya Blau. A 1970s coming-of-age story, but it lacked any real insight into the main character. Cute, but not much more to it than that.

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