Monday, December 31, 2012

BOOKS: December Reads

107. Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas - John Baxter, 270 pages [Christmas Spirit Challenge]

After reading A Moveable Feast by Hemingway, I thought this would be a great Christmas book. An Australian ex-pat describes his life in France as he plans to cook the big Christmas Feast for his wife's family. It was foodish, and French, and a visit to France. Fancy food, and culture shock.

108. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn, 430 pages

The book that everyone was talking about this year. Good thrilling read that is hard to review without giving away anything, but even saying there are twists a-plenty gives some away. I guessed the gist of the twists, but still enjoyed the book. The characters were terrible, terrible people, but there was also a farcical sense to the writing. I was picturing a Coen Brothers take on it by the end. By not viewing it as realistic, I thought the characters were well done, even though I imagine there are some twisted people like them out there.

109. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain, 10 h 37 min
reviewed here. 
Excellent read about one way to divide people into categories, instead of women and men from Venus and Mars.

110. Breath - Tim Winton, 217 pages, [Australian Reading Challenge; NY Times Notable Book 2008]

Surfing life in Australia in the 1970s, as remembered by a middle-aged paramedic. Eleven year old boys beginning living a much older life with two hippies at the edge of society. Some distrubing plot twists about a little boy lost. The surfing part was well done, as was the idea of chasing thrills, and what to do after that wears out or is no longer possible.

 111. Wishin' and Hopin' - Wally Lamb, 279 pages, [Christmas Spirit Challenge]

Delightful and charming, in the Christmas Story vein of remembering Christmas past. Set in 1964 Connecticutt, a third cousin of Annette Funicello remembers grade five and the Christmas concert that year. Lots of crazy characters - Catholic school with nuns, subsitute teacher from Quebec, a veritable United Nations of children including a recent Russian girl, the typical snotty girl who tries to run the show, and poor naive Felix who is on the verge of learning the birds and the bees.

112. Miracle and Other Stories - Connie Willis, 289 pages [Christmas Spirit Challenge]

Willis is huge fan of Christmas stories and movies. Also included in the collection of 8 short stories are lists of recommended Christmas books and movies. She even tries to refer to them in her stories. It's a mixed bag of stories, some bordering on supernatural (Miracle), with time travel (Inn) and ghosts (Adaptation).

113. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows - Alan Bradley, 271 pages [Canadian Book Challenge, Christmas Spirit challenge]
reviewed here


  1. I loved Gone Girl, I want to read Quiet, and I don't like the Bradley series. How's that for a variety of opinions? :)

  2. Wonderful, funny book that has introduced me to a whole new genre I didn't even know existed- the cozy English mystery. Each one is funnier than the last. I might die before the next one is out.

  3. I liked the John Baxter. I started another of them but didn't get through it.

    I read that Connie Willis in December too.


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