Archive for December, 2013

Someone, by Alice McDermott

December 26, 2013

[Lesley]  Can you tell that I’m catching up on reviewing what I’ve been reading??  Someone is a beautiful book – filled with hope, optimism, and humanity in the face of difficult circumstances. It reminded me of how I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and its characters and setting. Alice McDermott writes gorgeous prose with touches of humor and insight and always compassion.

Available on audio on Libby/Overdrive

Title details for Someone by Alice McDermott - Available

The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

December 26, 2013

[Lesley]  Donna Tartt is a genius. I don’t know how she creates such long, fascinating, slightly creepy, complex, mysterious, beautiful, epic stories but she does it every time. With characters that you like, hate, love, find distasteful, empathize with, and cannot understand. Her books are very different from each other, and yet so distinctly written by her and with similarities that resonate between them. The Goldfinch is a reverse art mystery — you know what has happened to the famous artwork, but you don’t know how or if it will ever be recovered. Every life touched by the event that precipitates the painting’s “disappearance” is unalterably changed in ways that manage to be negative and positive at the same time. There are few straight lines or black/white divisions in Tartt’s fiction — it’s nearly impossible to take sides or to find your footing in what amounts to an amoral universe. One of the best books I’ve read this year.

Available on Libby/Overdrive

The Goldfinch - ebook

Lexicon, by Max Barry

December 26, 2013

[Lesley]  I first read Max Barry with his book Jennifer Government and I loved the directness of his writing/storytelling and his clever mind and characters. This book was equally as good in exactly those ways. Lexicon takes on weaponized language & words being used by a secretive agency in ways we never entirely understand. Like most successful secret agencies, the agents are mostly isolated, never knowing more than what they “need-to-know” which limits their power even as they are given very powerful tools to use as they are instructed. Sharp, funny, techno (ish), sci-fi.

Available on audio on Hoopla and Libby/Overdrive

Lexicon

Enon, by Paul Harding

December 26, 2013

[Lesley]  I couldn’t imagine how Paul Harding would do with his second book after his first one won the Pulitzer (no pressure, right?). Tinkers was such an unusual blend of stream of consciousness, dream state, and fictional memoir, it’s not like he could write another in the same vein like so many authors do to capitalize on his breakout success. Somehow he has written a more readable/mainstream story about a character who lives in a similar dreamlike and interior world, but not to the exclusion of real life events and tragedies. Beautifully written, Enon strikes much more of a balance between lyric storytelling and actual character development and an emotional journey. This is a hard story to read – the events and the choices that the main character makes are heart-rending – but well worth it.

Available on Libby/Overdrive

Enon - ebook