Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Book # 37 for 2011 was Flying Changes, by Sara Gruen, and it was a let-down.  Her other books are much better.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Book #36

13 Little Blue Envelopes (YA) by Maureen Johnson
This one was a Friday freebie from B&N.  I love to read travel stories and I enjoy epistolary novels, yet this tale doesn't quite gel.  It feels like the author has merged memoirs of adventure with a fictitious frame for storytelling.  That said, I ended up enjoying the story.  It just felt forced at first. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

This Year's Pulitzer

Book #35 for me was Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad.  I have enjoyed some of her books, but I've been let down by one (The Keep), so I was lukewarm about this title.  After reading it, though, I feel the Pulitzer is justified.  The book is non-linear and employs other nontraditional narrative techniques that seem gimmicky when others try them.  The storytelling is a bit self-conscious at times, but it's effective nonetheless.  I keep thinking about the book--not only its characters, but the deft interweaving of stories and the predictions for my generation's future.  When a book lingers in mind, that's a seal of approval. 

Last night I watched movie # 27: Duplicity, starring Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, and a trove of other big names.  It's a heist movie, which requires concentration for the end to pay off.  It wasn't the greatest of con movies, but I enjoyed it anyway.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


26: The Paul Rudd/Mira Sorvino version of The Great Gatsby.  Gatsby was miscast, as was Myrtle.  The movie had a low-budget feel.

More books

#34: Jodi Picoult's House Rules.  I've read all but two Picoult books, and admire her (let's face it) formula.  This one was as riveting as her others, but the ending left me less satisfied than usual.

#35:  Robert Cormier's The Rag and Bone Shop.  His stories are extremely dark.  The psychology is intriguing, but dismaying.  Although he writes for adolescents, I feel like adults can best appreciate the complexities and retrospective ardor and pain of the situations he puts teen characters through.