Thursday, August 18, 2011

If You Can't Say Something Nice....

...don't say anything? There are times when saying nothing is not an option so I faced a real dilemma with this last book I read for Library Journal. The book, it which can not yet be named, was by an Australian writer with a great reputation - awards galore - but throughout my reading I felt uncomfortably annoyed. I felt like the writer was toying with me. He even says at one point that reviewers of his previous works have fallen into three catagories, one of which was basically those who didn't "get it." Hmmmm - I'll admit, I didn't.

Naturally one WANTS to love a new book. I approach each one with joy and expectation. Not to mention the fact that if I ever want to be quoted in the New York Times Book Review I'll need to lavish praise. Sadly, not many of the novels I review make it that far, though most of them are stellar. Two such novels, each outstanding in its own very disparate way, made it into the August issue of LJ.

Remember to scroll down as reviews are in alphabetical order. The first one I've spoken of here already. It is Crossbones by Farah. After checking that one out, scroll on down to Perrotta, Tom, for my review of The Leftovers, an exremely timely look at the aftermath of a possible Rapture. Hilarious but not unkind, sad but not maudlin, it's just perfect Perrotta. According to Early Word, there's already a film in the works or possibly even an HBO series.

OK, I'm guilty of taking the easy way out sending you to previously written reviews but I haven't finished anything lately. I'm in the middle of several books, none of which are grabbing me the way I enjoy being grabbed. I'm on a search. Any ideas? I'm halfway through The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer, a modern look at the infamous Aristophanes play Lysistrata. In the car I'm listening to a lengthy, slow moving novel called The Good Son by Michael Gruber. I think this will ultimately be satisfying as it combines all the elements I love: espionage, politics, and psychology. More to come on that.

By the bed I've been falling asleep to French Lessons by Ellen Sussman, simply because I fell for the cover.
So you see, I really have been trying!
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