10 September 2012


Next month we are off to the States.  We will be doing a road trip through the New England area ... so this month I have started on some pre-trip reading.
 I have previously read these "place appropriate" books :
The Witch of Blackbird Pond ~ Elizabeth George Speare
Little Women ~ Louisa May Allcot
The Crucible ~ Arthur Miller
It and others~ Stephen King
Cider House Rules and others ~ John Irving
The Perfect Storm ~ Sebastian Junger
Mystic River and others ~ Dennis Lehane
Charlie Parker series ~ John Connolly
Caleb's Crossing ~ Geraldine Brooks
The Marriage Plot ~ Jeffrey Eugenides

05 September 2012

Empire Falls ~ Richard Russo

**** RECOMMEND ****

Winner : Pulitzer Prize 2002

Will right review when I get back!

03 September 2012

Olive Kitterage ~ Elizabeth Strout

**** RECOMMEND ****

Winner : Pulitzer Prize 2009
Finalist : National Book Critics Circle Award 2008

02 September 2012

In The Heart Of The Sea ~ Nathaniel Philbrick

***** FAVOURITE *****
Subtitled "The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex"

Winner : National Book Award (non fiction) 2000

Chock-a-block with interesting trivia
Totally readable, totally riveting!

Non-fiction is usually not my reading choice, too many dreary details or written by an expert in the given field but with little talent for writing.  This is so not like that!

The writer crams in an amazing amount of fascinating trivia.  The story goes off on a multitude of tangents giving insight, details, history, background ... everything you could want to know and more!  But never a bore!!!  The writing style is extremely personable and articulate.  The material is rich and vivid.

Half way through, and the Essex has been scuttled by the sperm whale, I'm thinking : what on earth can he fill the rest of the pages with?  But not once did I put it aside to pick my way through in bits and pieces (as I usually do with non-fiction).  This was a riveting, absorbing tale of factual adventure.

It almost made me want to re-read Moby Dick!

01 September 2012

Ethan Frome ~ Edith Wharton

*** LIKE ***

Pre trip reading - a short one to start with!
Cold climate, cold story.

 This is really a novella.  Short.  Astute.  Cold and clear as a winter's nights.

As a precursor to our New England Road Trip, it didn't exactly instil a sense of "can't wait to get there"!  (Plan to visit The Mount in Lenox, MA, home of, and designed by, Wharton.)

The setting is Starkfield ... perfectly named.  While the village, its inhabitants and community life had rustic appeal, the weather was bleak, as were the central characters ... a whining and manipulative "sickly" wife, a forlorn hard-done-by young girl, and a tormented unfulfilled husband.  The story is depressing ...  exactly what the pitch and timbre of the writing aims for.  A perfectly painted and perfectly executed melodrama ... a good read, but not a joy to read!

First woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1921 (The Age of Innocence)