Dear Reader

Random musings on reading and books from a librarian in training.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

April reading

I enjoyed a relaxing week in southwest Florida last month and was able to read several books. Overall, I was happy with my choices.

Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda-- I read about this book on ShelfTalk ( It centers around a group of misfits who end up sharing an apartment and forming unlikely friendships. This book felt like a rich meal. I had the crazy impression that I should be reading it while having a picnic with a crusty baguette, cheese and tiny pastries. Overall, an absorbing read.

Away by Amy Bloom & The World to Come by Dara Horn -- Both of these had superficial similarities. The World to Come starts off with Benjamin Ziskind stealing a Chagall picture during a singles event at a museum. He believes that his family, who used to own the painting, were swindled out of it. The book flashes back and forth between Benjamin and his grandfather, who met Chagall when he was at an orphanage in Russia and a writer who also taught at the orphanage with Chagall. I found the Yiddish folktales that were interspersed in the novel interesting. I was a little put off by the ending. I felt like I was left wanting to know what was going to happen next. In Away, Lillian Leyb flees Russia after witnessing the slaughter of her family. When she finds out her daughter is still alive, she travels across the country to try to find her. It was a quick read and I found the description of times and the characters engrossing.

The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penny - Takes place in Canada during the 1860s. The novel focuses on the murder of a trapper. When her son disappears at the same time as the murder, Mrs. Ross sets out to find him and clear his name. I enjoyed it but did think it had a few bumps along the way. I liked the characters but sometimes felt that I was missing something because of the way things were just implied or hard to understand.

Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch -- the plot centers on Sarah Walters - a southern debutante. I thought this was a quick read, but wasn't really blown away. I felt like it was unconnected short
stories/ vignettes versus a cohesive novel. For some reason, I found Sarah also irritating and since she narrated most of the book that was problematic. I didn't think she was particularly sympathetic or likable.

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