May 2003

It's been a while since I updated the book log, but since I had a baby about five weeks ago, I'm sure you'll forgive me. The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West This 1956 novel is delightful and entertaining. I wasn't quite as sucked in as I expected to be, but it was nonetheless fun to read. The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen You can see I've been on something of an old novel kick. This one is from 1935 and is really remarkable. Sad, and sweet, and beautifully written. The Midwife's Tale by Gretchen Moran Laskas Full disclosure - I know Gretchen, or at least we've met over the ether on Readerville. I truly enjoyed this glimpse into the lives of Appalachian women. The Chateau by William Maxwell Every single word in this long novel is perfectly placed. Maxwell is remarkable.

Only Yesterday by Frederick Lewis Allen This is a nonfiction book about the 1920s that I read as research for my next novel. It was wildly entertaining, and I got tons of great stuff from it.

Hunger by Elise Blackwell I enjoyed this book very much, but it's not a novel. It's barely a novella. It's really a lovely short story in a nice little package.

Shadow Without a Name by Ignacio Padilla What does it say about me that I found it so difficult to remain engaged with this novel? It's interesting; the writing is wonderful. Perhaps it is because there are so few scenes - it's mostly description.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde A bookseller recommended this to me as light reading for Vicodin-fogged postpartum days. It was perfect. Tremendously enjoyable, and just what I needed.

Angels Go Naked by Cornelia Nixon Okay, once again, I must disclose my friendship with the author. You should read this book anyway. She's a wonderful writer. The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith People are buying this book despite the blurb calling it "The Miss Marple of Botswana." That's a good thing. It's terrific. It isn't, however, a traditional murder mystery, but rather a series of vignettes.

Wintering by Kate Moses This book is fabulous. By the end, I felt such an incredible kinship with Sylvia Plath - as a mother, really, more than as a writer. The Book of Dead Birds by Gayle Brandeis Okay, once again. I know the author. But still. A delightful, poignant novel.

Little Big by John Crowley This is a HUGE fairy story. I loved it. Great Neck by Jay Cantor This was my Hawaii beach reading, and it's a nice thick tome. I like to bring a big book with me on vacation. All I do is read, so I'd rather bring one or two huge books than schlep a suitcase full. There are some hysterically funny lines in this book, and he does a great job of showing us this world. Desirable Daughters by Bharati Mukherjee Yes, once again. I know the author. And this is part of my India mania. She's a wonderful writer, and I feel like the veil has been lifted a bit on Bengali culture.