November 2001

Did I say a couple of months ago that I would be working so hard I wouldn't have time to read? Sigh. Would that that were true... The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie I loved Midnight's Children, and I'm one of the few people to like The Ground Beneath Her Feet, so I'm a Rushdie fan. I loved this book. It was so rich, so fabulously odd, in that Rushdie way. The ending seemed a bit tacked on, though. What's with the sudden introduction of a character we've never met before? The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen Great, fun, sprawling read. I cringed and laughed and cried along with all the characters...except the sister. She kind of bored me. Otherwise, I loved the book. It Takes a Worried Man by Brendan Halpin This memoir is about the author's wife's cancer diagnosis. It's incredibly touching, and very sad. And funny, too. It's hardly a work of genius, but it's good for a hormone-induced weep-fest. The Vine of Desire by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni This novel continues the story of the women we met in Sister of My Heart. As I've said before, I love novels about India, or Indian characters. So I whipped through this in a night or two. She's got a terrific descriptive sense. Probably because she's a poet. The World Below by Sue Miller I think of Sue Miller in many ways as the writer I'd like to grow into. Her themes are much the same as mine ? the minutae of daily life, mothering etc. No murders in this one, though. The Fortune Catcher by Susanne Pari Okay, I'll admit it -- Susanne is my friend. I gobbled up this book in a day. If you want some insight into Islamic Fundamentalism and a good read at the same time, this is your book. The Safe House by Nicci French This is the only mystery I read in the past two months. Can this be true? What a bad mystery writer I am, to have been such a bad mystery reader...This reads along pretty quickly. Could use a little humor, though. Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz What a lovely, sad, depressing book. The mystery was pretty obvious, but I didn't care. It was beautifully written, and a perfect post-partum book, if tragedy is your thing. I'm always drawn to misery when I've just had a baby. The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru This is a very strange novel, that's also compelling. It kept me up until all hours, again and again. This writer is one to watch. I told you I liked books about India. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger If you had told me that I would be blown away by a deeply religious book about cowboys and God, I would have laughed in your face. Read this book. It's amazing.