Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Break Reading

In addition to traveling and shopping, I had time to lounge around and read during spring break. Here are some opinions and observations on the books I carried around last week.

Slumdog Millionaire
This is one of those instances (like Bridget Jones' Diary and The Notebook) where the screenwriter and film makers improved upon a book.

Originally titled Q&A, the concept of the book is unique and captivating. The execution, however, is choppy and puzzling. The novel read like a group of loosely connected short stories, which made it easy to put down after each chapter. About three quarters of the way through I decided not to pick it up again. Don't let this stop you from seeing the movie, though, because it's fantastic.

The Bright Forever
Lee Martin manages to keep his readers wondering and wavering. Just when I've decided to like a character, he or she says or does something to fall out of favor. This ability to create believable yin and yang for each character is noteworthy. The story and its characters orbit the twin concepts of innocence and guilt.

Reviewers have rightfully compared this piece to the classic Winesburg, Ohio, for the town is a collective character. Have patience with the story as it unfolds, and pay close mind to who narrates each chapter. It's a carefully crafted web of interconnected, small-town lives well worth your attention.

Sister Mine
Another Tawni O'Dell book with sassy spirits in sh!tty circumstances. Coal mining territory has also been a plot mine for O'Dell. I thoroughly enjoyed the interesting dynamics between the main character and E.J.

This author does a great job of portraying the ordinary, the impoverished, and the desperate with realism and respect. I liked it, but not as much as Coal Run. I look forward to her next book, and would like to read more about the author. From the bits and pieces of information I've found, she seems like quite an interesting woman.
Mmmmm. What's more decadent than ample time to read?

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