Saturday, October 17, 2020

Jennifer Weiner, BIG SUMMER

This book had more heart and heft than I expected it would, honestly, but it's an odd novel ... and after reading a few other reviews, I realize I'm not the only one who thought so. The first half is fairly standard chick-lit--a young woman protagonist overcomes her personal challenges to become a successful plus-size instagram influencer and begins to reconcile with her troubled, former mean-girl/BFF from high school. Then, at the half-way point, there's a death, and the book suddenly becomes a whodunnit mystery. The characters transform into intuitively capable amateur detectives, the pace picks up, and we're sped along to a conclusion. It didn't quite work for me, partly because many of the insights about our fat-shaming, diet-obsessive culture (while enlightened) didn't feel fresh or original to me, as I think Weiner intended; bestselling author Geneen Roth was writing about these issues, in very similar language to what Weiner uses, back in the 1990s. The message seems to be that our bad deeds come back to haunt us, and parental love makes the difference ... maybe a bit too pat? However, it was a quick, easy read, one day for me. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Some of my fave books with LONG TITLES

First off, I'm sending a hi and hug to Jana, who is one of my fave book bloggers, and who gave my book love way back when. And here is my TOP TEN TUESDAY, three days late because ... um, that is where I am these days.

The True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

Mountains beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, the Man who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder

How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents by Julia Alvarez

(NOTE: Some books not pictured because I think my daughter ran off with them!)