Away

June 30, 2008

Author: Amy Bloom
Copyright: 2007
Publisher: Random House

Started: 6/30/08
Completed: 7/3/2008

This is an immigrant’s story set in 1920’s New York City at its start. A young Russian woman, Jewish, survives a pogrom that kills her whole family. She ends up in New York,rebuilding her life before learning that her child may have survived. She heads out across the US to try to get to Alaska and across to Siberia. An interesting, well-written book.

Author: David Sedaris
Copyright: 2008
Publisher:Little, Brown and Company

Started: 6/23/08
Completed: 6/29/08

It’s David Sedaris! This was a Father’s Day gift from The Lovely Karen. She knows I am a Sedaris fan and was kind enough to present this volume to me on Father’s Day. A few of these essays have appeared in The New Yorker, but I find them just as enjoyable on a second reading.

Harry, Revised

June 17, 2008

Author: Mark Sarvas
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Started: 6/17/08
Completed: 6/22/08

I didn’t know much about this one as I started it, but I did know that the author is a blogger. It advertises itself as “moving and darkly comedic” and I think meets that test. Not a bad little book.

Terra Incognita

June 11, 2008

Author: Ruth Downie
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Started: 6/11/08
Completed: 6/16/08

This is a follow-up to a neat little historical novel/mystery that I read last year (maybe earlier?). That one, Medicus, featured a Roman doctor, stationed in Britain who reluctantly solves a murder. It featured great descriptions of life in Roman Britain, strong characters, and a decent mystery.

This book is a worthy successor. It finds the good Doctor headed off to the borderlands and getting more deeply involved with the locals. Good read. Ms. Downie? Write more, please.

Skid

June 7, 2008

Author: Rene Gutteridge
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: WaterBrook Press

Started: 6/7/08
Completed: 6/10/08

This novel presented itself as something of a screwball comedy, set on an airliner, with many different characters. And a pig. That’s right: another pig.

What I missed when I scanned the cover information was that this is a “christian-themed” novel. It is a basic light-reading story but one in which most of the characters either draw on their strong christian faith to get through difficult situations or discover the lost faith of their youth as they work through the situations in the novel.

It strikes me as contrived. Otherwise, a light read.

The Pig Did It

June 3, 2008

Author: Joseph Caldwell
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Delphinium Books

Started: 6/3/08
Completed: 6/7/08

I didn’t see how I could pass up a book called “The Pig Did It.” Especially one set in Ireland. It was a cute book; almost a novelette. It had less of a scope than I had expected, focusing very closely on just four characters (and the pig). And it didn’t have as much Ireland in it as I would have liked. But worth a read.