Monday, March 23, 2009

Moral Disorder

by Margaret Atwood

Quickie Recap: The stories are all about the same woman, from different periods in her life, and told from different perspectives.

Quickie Review: It's Atwood, so of course it's good. I found it fairly straight-forward, with moments of bitterness and sweetness both. When I first dove in, I was in love. It was easy to get into, but because the stories are related, it almost reads like a novel, a novel which in the end lacks that final punch. It left me wanting to know more about the other relationships that get woven into the stories. I wanted a bit of closure.

Quickie Recommendation: I don't consider it her best, but I'm sure even her worst is far above much of the tripe they sell in Chapters.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Come Thou Tortoise

by Jessica Grant.

Quickie Recap: Audrey has just lost her father, and she doesn't yet realize that his death complicates thing for everyone she once considered family. She chases after the people she loves while leaving behind the pet she has cared for - a tortoise named Winnifred who tells us about all her previous owners and their various heartaches.

Quickie Review: Maybe I had feelings of happiness towards this book because I read it on a hammock on the beach shaded by palm trees. But sitting back home in Canada, I still identify this as not just my favourite book of 2009 (so far and I'd venture to say in its entirety), but the best book I've read in a really long time, and I've read some very pleasing gems. The cover of this book refers to itself as "offbeat" and it is, but it's even better than that. It's the very best kind of odd there is. Charming at every word.

Quickie Recommendation: Awesome, awesome, awesome. Can't be said enough.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

You Suck

A Love Story by Christopher Moore.

Quickie Recap: Jody turns her boyfriend Tommy into a vampire so they can live immortally together forever. Except it turns out that vampires don't have it so easy. And did you know that some people don't like vampires? True story.

Quickie Review: So I'm sitting on the plane headed for The Dominican Republic, and the flight attendant announces that the in flight movie will be Twilight. Pass. So I crack open You Suck instead, which superficially is also about vampires and the persecution of and whatnot, but actually is the anti-Twilight because it's good. Ya gotta love Moore, he's got such a strange and inventive mind. I quite enjoyed it. Quite!

Quickie Recommendation: As always, yes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Believers

A novel by Zoe Heller.

Quickie Recap: Joel and Audrey are a couple of activists who raised 3 kids and now that they're reaching retirement you'd think the worst was behind them, but just as Joel is trying a big huge case, he has a stroke and falls into a coma, leaving his family to discover dirty little secrets and work out their many, many dysfunctions.

Quickie Review: Wow, that was killer. It's not often you read a scathing expose of the hypocrisy of the left wingers. Totally makes you think twice. Heller has a real gift for the details, which makes the family dynamics just pop off the page. I had an immediate hate-on for the mother character, Audrey, which tells me she was very carefully written. Nothing is safe from Heller's pen: not the crazy institution of marriage, or religion, or politics. Everything is under fire, and ooooh does it burn.

Quickie Recommendation: Righteous book, dude.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Apologies to March

Quickie Apology:

I sucked in March. I still read like crazy, but between the vacation and the new puppy and the idiotic schedule at work, I've barely had to time to write about what a read. And that's a travesty, no?

So I'm playing catch up, but it's all worth it because I actually did read some really amazing shit in March, particularly this one book that I read on the beach in Punta Cana that I cannot wait to tell you about.