Holidays on Ice

December 26, 2008

Author: David Sedaris
Copyright: 1997
Publisher: Little Brown

Started: 12/25/08
Completed: 12/29/08

Karen gave me this book for Christmas. It’s a collection of short stories, anchored by the famous tales of Sedaris’ work as a santa’s elf at Macy’s in New York City. I first heard these tales when Sedaris’ was a guest commentator on NPR and I’ve been a fan ever since. The story is a new classic and Sedaris is a very funny fellow.

The Electric Michelangelo

September 7, 2008

Author: Sarah Hall
Copyright: 2004
Publisher: Faber and Faber

Started: 9/6/08
Completed: 9/13/08

This is a story about a man who leads a curiously solitary life as a skilled tattoo artist. It follows him from youth to old age as he grows up in a shabby English sea-side resort, apprentices to a crabby older artist, moves to America and Cony Island and ultimately back to England to settle into old age. It is what I would call a lyrical novel, with description and action interspersed with ruminations on life, art, nature, and mankind.

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.

Dizzy City

May 19, 2008

Author: Nicholas Griffin
Copyright: 2007
Publisher: Steerforth Press

Started: 5/19/08
Completed: 5/26/08

This book is set in New York City in 1916. That’s essentially turn of the century NYC and I always enjoy going there. And it features a fine cast of con men and women, with rich past histories and complex relationships. Quite fun, and a good read.