Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Well, it was better than The Prophet of Yonwood.
Lina and Doon are such great characters that it's hard to knock a book about them, but...
Solar cells as society's only gift to the future?
I don't know.
What with the crashing banks, disastrous politics, global storming and the hey hey, maybe I'm just in a grim mood, but I sure hope that when our world comes down around our ears, we have a better plan for what we leave our underground-dwelling survivors when they emerge from the darkness.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This was a delightful surprise!
I was expecting it to be terrible, but it was really lovely. Nancy was still as perfect as could be, (I LOVED the woodshop scene!) but her character was presented so empathetically, it was obvious that she couldn't stop sleuthing if she tried, and even though it was a mite heavily done, the bit about the mother was actually a little tear-jerky.
As always, a meticulously plotted out Wexford mystery from Rendell. What is there to say? The relationships between Wexford, Burden, Hannah, Dora, Sylvia, Sheila, these are such well written characters. So good.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Really lovely book about three sisters trying to make their family champagne estate survive.
You could taste the bubbles, and oh, the food, and oh, the house! And there was a surprisingly meaty, well-told story behind all the deliciousness of it all.
Good read. I'll be looking for her other books!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The Geography of Nowhere:The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape, by James Howard Kunstler
Excellent book about American community planning, from the organic early cities to the (as envisioned) park-like suburbs to inner city project housing to gentrification. Kunstler's excellent writing and doom-like vibe really make even some of the drier issues (road widths, frontage limits, etc) really intriguing, and when he's on the juicy stuff, there's no putting it down.
I know I didn't even have a wrod to say about his novel- and it was one that I was so excited about for so long, but I've been thinking about it, and realized that there was a lot I just didn't like about it.
In his novel, women are relegated to almost an early 20th century level in society- well, they are pretty much living in a post energy-crisis/economic collapse agrarian near future America, and society has become in many ways feudal. Kunstler does, in fact, predict a return to a more feudalistic society in the deep South of America in his fantastic, addictive read-in-one-sitting The Long Emergency, but for New England, where the novel is based, he was more hopeful. It upset me while reading the novel, at least, and the kind of graphic violence in it wasn't my cup of tea either. (Seriously, Kunstler- I did NOT need that Catherine Wheel shit in my head!)
BUT. I can love the guy's non-fiction and entirely loathe his fiction, and I think that's ok.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
A very thoughtful YA book set in India during WWII and the Indian revolution against British colonial rule.
15 year old Vidya feels responsible when her father is injured at a protest, and the family must move in with relatives who despise them. Her brother Kitta is worried by the Japanese invasion of Burma and wants to join the British Army, although it was a British policeman who injured their father. A love interest named Raman offers Vidya a chance to escape to America with him, but her grandfather saves the day by offering to send her to college.
It was good, and interesting as an adult, but I think maybe not terrifically appealing to most teens.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids, by Diane E. Levin and Jean Kilbourne
Yet another book about the lolita-ization of girlhood, and how parents and teachers (and librarians?) can help counteract the societal pressures.
A bit blah, but I think I've overloaded on this topic.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Fantastic, intelligent, feminist YA.
I loved this book. So much better than Dramarama, but even in Dramarama, I could see a thoughtfulness in the narrator that really shone through here. The setting was perfect too, all the details were dead on, and the whole thing rang true.