Books Read in January
book 9 of 9 sob!
Erlunder investigates a cold case whilst out in the moors thinking about his brother. Time lines were weird here, and the ending is relatively conclusive, but as other reviewers have said, there was enough information about hypothermia to leave a devoted fan with some hope.
3 h 50 min
Just what the title says: watching the last night at a Red Lobster that is about to close. Character studies more than anything, because no real plot. And yet, it was an enjoyable little tale, sneaking into the lives of Manny, the manager as he deals with the lack of motivation to work the last night, when who really cares? It was set just before Christmas, so would make a nice, easy seasonal read or listen.
book club book
One of the questions in the discussion questions was along the lines of: "Walls tells her story with no judgement on her parents. Were you able to read without judging them?" Resounding NO! from all present. The question about which was the most vivid scene also brought lots of discussion since there were so many horrifying scenes. But, we all really enjoyed the book, found the writing compelling and easy to read, and the thought of reading Half-Broke Horses, also written by Walls, was unanimous.
Canada Reads 2014
Least favorite book of the month, but still okay. I preferred his other book, DeNiro's Game. I found it dragged a bit in the middle, but I found the ending got stronger and easier to read. Probably because there was less stream of consciousness rambling. I am looking forward to seeing how it fares in Canada Reads 2014 debates. Cockroach will be defended by Samantha Bee. This should be good.
15 h 1 min
Book 9 of 9 in the Three Pines Mysteries
Sometimes it takes me longer to get into Three Pines books than others, but listening to this one seemed to help. I was drawn into the story immediately. Penny often flips between story lines, and I could have used a slight pause by the narrator (Ralph Cosham) as those paragraph changes happened. Interesting interview at the end between Cosham and Penny, where we learn that Cosham reads the books blind - not having read it before. I think part of why this book was good was there were a lot of characters not really present (Mrs Gamauche, Peter, Jean-Guy is quite limited) and lots of Ruth. Ruth is the best, and nearly always made me laugh. Several large Quebec historical events are brought up for scrutiny, including native relations, corruption among high level officials and the construction industry, and one other event that I won't mention because it is eventually revealed but everyone will recognize. This feels like it could even be the last of the Three Pines series, as many, many storylines were tied up, some which have really been the whole series.
I wouldn't recommend reading this book without having read the previous 8.
Nice feminist take on leadership, and the mindset that is required of individuals rather than institutions to see real change. Sandberg had an easy style, full of information and examples from her life. I liked her take on sharing the roles at home and with children, probably because if reflected my life the most. How the guys who are fun to date are not the ones to marry. How letting the father parent the child without having to insist on things being done the mother's way is the path toward sharing responsibility. How you can't feel guilt for working. Good stuff.
Orange Prize Longlist; Booker Prize Shortlist 2010
Last January I read Levy's Small Island, and it was one of my favorite reads of the year. The Long Song was a strong follow-up. I can see why it got the accolades it did in 2010. Set on a plantation in Jamaica, Miss July is born into slavery, lives through the freeing of slaves by Queen Victoria, and eventually recounts her life for her printer son. Some horrifying slavery stuff and an ending which seemed a little rushed but a good read none the less.
So, 3 audiobooks, 1 library book, 2 ROOTs (books I already owned) and a book club book. Nice balance of books. Pretty good considering how busy January was with tournaments and finishing up the semester.
Favorite read: How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny.
New books acquired in January:
The Bear by Claire Cameron (requested review copy)
Maeve's Times by Maeve Binchy (given by a friend who is also a Binchy fan)