December 2005

It hasn't been so long since my last update, but I wanted to do this before I went on tour. Lots of novels, some old some new. Third Girl From the Left by Martha Southgate. I loved this one. Graceful and funny, and I found out so much more than I ever knew about Blaxploitation movies!!

Black Dogs by Ian McEwan I love McEwan, and so much about this book is his usual fabulousness. But for some reason the story wasn't his usual brilliance.

Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry Here's another writer I love whose book just didn't do that much for me. I mean, his writing is great, the rich world he's created. But the story in the end didn't come to much.

Howard's End by E.M. Forster I reread this because I needed a little Forster for my new novel -- and I'm so glad I did. He's just the best.

Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively This book is lovely. The time switches are beautifully done.

The Reawakening by Primo Levi I just don't believe that someone who wrote just a gorgeous book -- honest without being bleak, full of humor about things that are never funny -- could have committed suicide. I don't believe it. He must have fallen.

Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster This book nearly kills me every time. What a talent he has, writing beautifully about horrible people.

The Trick of It by Michael Frayn I liked this book very much, although I think that fact that it's an epistolary novel puts a sort of layer between the reader and the story. But still, so much is gained by that in terms of what we learn about the narrator through his own letters.

While I Was Gone by Sue Miller She's a terrific writer. Gives you a smash up plot and fine characters. One of my role models.

The Stone Woman by Tariq Ali I really really wanted to love this. He's so witty and insightful, and I don't read enough fiction in translation. But there's a kind of storytelling that's just hard for me to get into. So, it turns out that this book was written in English. I'd just assumed it was translated from the Turkish, mostly because the language was so stiff. It's much harder to forgive that knowing that it's not just a problem of translation.

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier I love the premise of this novel. It's so creative and weirdly fun. Creepily fun.

Two Lives by Vickram Seth When I was reading Suitable Boy, I was pregnant and even though I adored it, I had to stop because it was too heavy to balance on my belly. This one is another doorstop, and worth every page!

This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M. Homes. Funny, bleak. A marvelous L.A. story.