Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Wonderful historical YA.
Shifting between 1950's Providence RI and Manhattan, 17 year old Kit Corrigan's story of leaving Rhode Island to test her talent on stage in New York weaves together the Rhode Island Mafia, the Red Scare, and the Korean War in unexpected and intricate ways.
So well done, I read it in one gulp.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Very likeable, enjoyable read. Welsh girls Petra and Shannon adore David Cassidy in the 1970's, but a cruel twist of fate stops them from getting to meet their idol until much, much later. This was so well done, with wonderful characterizations, and a great sense of how teenage girls operate. Magazine writer Bill is another great character- this was hard to put down, and definitely the kind of book to recommend to people looking for a good, fun read with some substance.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Interesting, if older (2005) book about aggressive marketing directed toward children, and the damage it can do.
Cute and somewhat sociologically interesting childrens'/YA book. Jacki and her family have always been lucky, but after her mother is laid off, and their savings are depleted by risky investments, everything changes. Her older sister Brooke can no longer count on being able to afford the universities of her choice, despite having aced her SATS and spending years building up application material, Jacki suddenly finds that piano lessons aren't just a hassle, and much more. Well done, but not a great read.
For such a big bestseller, I had higher hopes about this. It started well- very much like last year's The Physick Book fo Deliverance Dane- but turned pretty bad very quickly, and only a combination of curiosity and disbelief kept me turning the pages. Damsel in distress has never been my flavor.
Part 2 of the Henrietta letters. Fictionalized letters from Henrietta, a doctor's wife, to a friend named Robert, who is fighting in France, about life during wartime.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
Pretty fantastic YA dystopian sci fi. In this near-future society, everyone undergoes an operation to prevent (or cure) deliria - love. Great world building, and some genuinely emotional scenes.
Fannie's Last Supper: Re-creating One Amazing Meal from Fannie Farmer's 1896 Cookbook, by Christopher Kimball
This was just fascinating. Kimball spends about 2 years working with chefs to try to recreate a 12 course meal from Fannie Farmer's cookbook, using a coal fired stove and as authentic ingedients and materials as possible. An insane labor of love.
I really wanted to like this more than I did. I really enjoyed the first book, set in Exeter RI, and hoped the series would develop well, but this was a bit of a sophomore slump for me.
Interesting, if episodical, look at the culture in the 1920's. From Scott and Zelda to President Harding's girlies, lots of interesting tidbits, but overall, not a really cohesive look at the decade.