Albany, NY, United States | Member Since 2011
Saunders' characters struggle with issues we've all faced - or will face sometime in our lifetime: sorrow and loss, wanting to give more than we have to our children, conquering our deepest fears in order to do what we know is the right thing. But the settings of his stories are weirdly futuristic, and only somewhat recognizable. Saunders is a great narrator.
Definitely. I already have. These six vaguely-intertwining stories travel through time from a pre-"civilized" world to a world civilization has destroyed and then back again. What the protagonists have in common is that they are each breaking new ground - both on personal and societal levels. They are each using a "cloud atlas" to navigate their lives. I think. The readers were all great. The only downside of listening to the recording as opposed to reading the book, is that in the second half of the book, as the order reverses and characters are re-introduced, I couldn't flip back through the pages to review details I didn't remember. Highly recommended as a recording, but keep a paper or screen version nearby.
Rose Baker is a typist in a New York police station during the Prohibition era. She's alone in the world and starved for human connection. When the beautiful Odalie befriends her, Rose begins to experience the life she craves, but disapproves of. Lots of great plot twists keep the action moving. I won't spoil the end, except to say that the ambiguous conclusion is surprisingly satisfying. I'll be interested to see what Rindell comes up with for her next novel.
An unemployed poet explains why he can't write the introduction to an anthology of rhyming verse, much to the dismay of his now ex-girlfriend who believes this is a symptom of his much bigger problems with avoidance and denial. Wonderful insights into poetic form and context.
The story follows a group of teenagers from one summer, spent in a performing arts camp, to adulthood. They face challenges, disappointment, and joy as they make choices and look for ways to put meaning in their adult lives. Although they call themselves "The Interestings" and some of them have lives that are more than ordinary, it's clear that they're just people trying to make their way in the world. Good writing and compelling characters. Believable.
In these collected essays, Ann Patchett writes about people and events that have informed her writing. I found them relate-able and thoroughly enjoyable. Was sorry when the book ended.
Sue Monk Kidd has finally written a great book. I hated "Mermaid's Chair" and felt annoyed at "The Secret Life of Bees" but was persuaded to give this one a try. I'm really glad I did. This is a fictionalized account of Sarah Grimke and her sister, real-life abolitionists and feminists from 19th century Charleston. Kidd really did her research - of the time period, of slavery, and of quilting. Gripping.
A woman finally realizes her dream of becoming a spy - and gets in deeper than she ever imagined. Unrealistic, a bit bloody, and a lot of fun.
Enjoyed this story of the lives of the Bronte siblings. Life before antibiotics sure was fragile.
O'Farrell writes sympathetic characters, and that's an important issue for me. I have to be able to identify with at least one in any book. Here, each one - even the unlikable, has some redeeming characteristic. A good depiction of adult family relationships just as each is reaching a crisis point in his or her life. There was only one thing I had trouble believing: One sister is illiterate. By now she's figured out how to hide it. But is it really possible that she made it all the way through her school years without anyone ever suspecting she might have a learning disability - or discovering that she never learned to read?
I bought this book because of the great reviews. And it lived up to all of them.
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