Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I just finished this, again, I've read it many times. It's a young adult book about Sam Westing, master of disguise and game playing, who in his will called 16 heirs to play the "Westing Game" to discover who took his life and figure out the solution, becoming the heir to his money. it's an easy read, and fun. It's fun to try and figure it out. It was made into a movie but I haven't seen it, so I don't know how much it follows the book.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
This is a series of books written anonymously in the 1950s by a British diplomat's wife. She'd lived all over the world and writes stories set in those places. The collection I found was three books in one (they're out of print, I found this on abebooks.com for really cheap) called Julia Involved. These three were set in Morocco, Portugal, and Switzerland, respectively.
I liked her writing, and I liked the detail about the places and the events and the politics (a little, not too much!) of the time. It's fascinating how much has changed in 50 years. They're very readable: international intrigue with a little romance thrown in.
I've heard that her other books are great too (she wrote 20-30 of them) but they're all out of print and most of the others besides this series are very pricey. So if you find any Ann Bridge in used bookstores, pick it up and send it to me! :)
Thursday, September 2, 2010
by Edward P. Jones
I just finished this last night. I'm trying to read some of the award-winning books from the library (Pulitzers, National Book Awards, Man Bookers, etc.) and I'm keeping a list so I can create my own library more high school student friendly. With so many of my friends having high school students, I keep hearing how so many of the "great" books are awful, and that it is difficult to find the reading list books because the library's copies are always checked out. I decided to start my reading now and buy books that are more likely to end up on these reading lists AND that I feel are appropriate to read. That said, I just finished this one, and found it very interesting. It won the Pulitzer in 2004, and this is the author's 2nd novel. (His 1st, Lost in the City, was a National Book Award finalist).
The book is set in the slavery era in Virginia, but is about an aspect of slavery I was not aware of. Apparently, there were a number of free blacks that were slave owners in the south. Usually it was second generation freed slaves, whose parents had themselves been slaves and been freed or purchased their freedom. I did not know this happened and imagine it would cause some difficulties in the families. Anyway, it is written in a really cool way, telling a story, but weaving in what happens in the future to the different characters. I really enjoyed it. It supposedly paints a fairly realistic picture of slavery, which I appreciate. Most interesting were the interactions between the black and white slave owners, as well as the black slave owners relationships (often strained) with their parents.
I thought it was a good book. I added it to my "buy" list.