Sunday, June 15, 2008

Currently Reading - Audience Participation!

Well, it has been a while since I did a Currently Reading post!!! The last book I blogged about was Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (the third in the Twilight series) - which was way back in April. Damn - I'm a slacker!!!

Anyway, here's a couple I've been reading lately that I think should be talked about.

The first is The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. I was fortunate enough to pick this book up during the 15 minutes I had in the exhibit hall at PLA before I came down with Pneumonia. This book was one of the best books I have read all year. I was moved by pretty much everything in the story - the characters, the scene that the author painted, the relationships, the dogs. When the ending came, I wasn't quite prepared - but it definitely fit with the story.
Anyway, here's a review from Publishers Weekly.

Starred Review. A literary thriller with commercial legs, this stunning debut is bound to be a bestseller. In the backwoods of Wisconsin, the Sawtelle family—Gar, Trudy and their young son, Edgar—carry on the family business of breeding and training dogs. Edgar, born mute, has developed a special relationship and a unique means of communicating with Almondine, one of the Sawtelle dogs, a fictional breed distinguished by personality, temperament and the dogs' ability to intuit commands and to make decisions. Raising them is an arduous life, but a satisfying one for the family until Gar's brother, Claude, a mystifying mixture of charm and menace, arrives. When Gar unexpectedly dies, mute Edgar cannot summon help via the telephone. His guilt and grief give way to the realization that his father was murdered; here, the resemblance to Hamlet resonates. After another gut-wrenching tragedy, Edgar goes on the run, accompanied by three loyal dogs. His quest for safety and succor provides a classic coming-of-age story with an ironic twist. Sustained by a momentum that has the crushing inevitability of fate, the propulsive narrative will have readers sucked in all the way through the breathtaking final scenes. (June).

The next story is P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. Yeah, this was a great chick lit book - I cried my eyes out through half of it!!! Definitely a great read, I laughed, cried, and was generally touched by this book.
A review from Publishers Weekly:

Ahern, the mediagenic 22-year-old daughter of Ireland's prime minister, debuts with a sweet, sentimental tale of a young widow's trials and triumphs in the year after her husband's death. Soul mates Holly and Gerry married in their early 20s; when Gerry dies of brain cancer at 30, Holly is utterly bereft. But Gerry has a final gift: a series of letters, which Holly is to open on the first of each month from March to New Year's, and which will guide her on her journey from grief. Gerry correctly predicts that Holly will not have gone through his belongings by June, found a new job by September or considered falling in love again by December, but with his posthumous epistolary encouragement she does all those things. She also enters a karaoke contest, takes a beach vacation and dances at a holiday ball she'd always attended with Gerry. The months pass as close friends help prop Holly up; around her, a marriage falls apart, a couple gets engaged and a friend announces her pregnancy. Within her tight-knit family, Holly's youngest brother makes a revealing film of her birthday party, her elder brothers change places in her allegiance and her parents take in one stray grown child after another for stays short and long. Ahern's speed (she wrote the book in three months) and her youth do show-the wisdom in evidence owes much to Nicholas Sparks and Sophie Kinsella-and her prose is pedestrian. She boasts a natural storytelling talent, however, resulting in a compelling tale sparked by an unusual premise.

The last one I'm going to mention is yet another Stephenie Meyer book, The Host. I just finished this one last night, and I loved it!!! I am really enjoying Stephenie Meyer's writing style, and am always looking forward to her next book (Breaking Dawn, the 4th book in the Twilight series, which comes out on August 2!!)
Anyway, here's a review from Amazon:

Stephenie Meyer, creator of the phenomenal teen-vamp Twilight series, takes paranormal romance into alien territory in her first adult novel. Those wary of sci-fi or teen angst will be pleasantly surprised by this mature and imaginative thriller, propelled by equal parts action and emotion. A species of altruistic parasites has peacefully assumed control of the minds and bodies of most humans, but feisty Melanie Stryder won't surrender her mind to the alien soul called Wanderer. Overwhelmed by Melanie's memories of fellow resistor Jared, Wanderer yields to her body's longing and sets off into the desert to find him. Likely the first love triangle involving just two bodies, it's unabashedly romantic, and the characters (human and alien) genuinely endearing. Readers intrigued by this familiar-yet-alien world will gleefully note that the story's end leaves the door open for a sequel--or another series. --Mari Malcolm

So, those are just a couple of the books I have read since the last Currently Reading post! There are more listed in my 2008 Book List - check it out!!!

Next, I am ready to start Beautiful Boy: a father's journey through his Son's meth addiction by David Sheff. I've heard great things about this book - and thought it was appropriate to start on Father's Day.
Here's a review from Publishers Weekly:

Expanding on his New York Times Magazine article, Sheff chronicles his son's downward spiral into addiction and the impact on him and his family. A bright, capable teenager, Nic began trying mind- and mood-altering substances when he was 17. In months, use became abuse, then abuse became addiction. By the time Sheff knew of his son's condition, Nic was strung out on meth, the highly potent stimulant. While his son struggles to get clean, his second wife and two younger children are pulled helplessly into the drama. Sheff, as the parent of an addict, cycles through denial and acceptance and resistance. The author was already a journalist of considerable standing when this painful story began to unfold, and his impulse for detail serves him personally as well as professionally: there are hard, solid facts about meth and the kinds of havoc it wreaks on individuals, families and communities both urban and rural. His journey is long and harrowing, but Sheff does not spare himself or anyone else from keen professional scrutiny any more than he was himself spared the pains—and joys—of watching a loved one struggling with addiction and recovery. Real recovery creates—and can itself be—its own reward; this is an honest, hopeful book, coming at a propitious moment in the meth epidemic.

And now, it's your turn - what are YOU reading???


Mary said...

I HAVE to get P.S. I Love You - all I hear is how great it is! I'm actually reading nothing but baby books at the moment and I need a break :)

Amanda said...

I'll have to read the Edgar Sawtelle book. Sounds interesting!! I'm currently finishing up the Galileo's Daughter book.

Rhonda said...

I've just started The Lovely Bones.