July 2003

Please let me explain my failure to update, as well as the paucity of books in the log. Abe, the baby, WON'T NURSE. I spend hours every day pumping milk for the little monster, and don't get me started on how much we've spent on lactation consultants. Mazel by Rebecca Goldstein You want to hear something depressing? This author won a MacArthur Genius Grant, and her book is published by a university press. That said, I loved The Mind/Body Problem, so I expected to love this, and didn't. I can't pin my finger on what's missing - it just seems a bit, well, dull.

The Gangster We Are All Looking for by le thi diem thuy The author's name is spelled wrong because I can't figure out where any of the accents are on the keyboard. Sorry. Thuy can write, she really can, but she seems so disconnected from the emotion of the story that it's hard to enjoy this book. Women About Town by Laura Jacobs This book is small, and promises to be little more than "chick lit," but it ends up being oddly poignant. What's with the high heels on the cover, though? I've seen way too much of that, lately.

Men and Other Mammals by Jim Keeble I would never have bothered with this novel, but a bookseller recommended it. It's okay.

Lucky Girls by Nell Freudenberger Lord, did I want to hate this collection. The author is about eleven years old, she got a massive advance based on a single short story, and I wanted it to suck. Because that's how nice I am. It was marvelous. Truly.

Getting Mother's Body by Suzan-Lori Parks This book was enjoyable, but given the buzz, I expected a whole lot more. Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde Been there, done that. The first was enough.

Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes She's a lovely writer, but the ending of the book seemed to kind of fizz out.

The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem Well, this is the one. If you only read one book this year, read this one. It's devastating, brilliant, all those things the blurbs say it is.

And Now You Can Go by Vendela Vida A lovely, slim book. Idiosyncratic, and touching.

How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer This woman truly nails childhood. It made me so incredibly happy I am no longer a girl. Your Mouth is Lovely by Nancy Richler My father was wrong. This woman can write. The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst Okay, I'm not quite sure why this is such a huge hit. I liked it, I did. But "The Lovely Dog Bones?" I don't get it.

Midsummer by Marcelle Clements A bookseller made me buy this in hardcover, and I'm a bit irritated with him.