Sunday, February 12, 2017

Shylock is My Name

This book is a modern retelling of the Merchant of Venice.  I made sure to reread the play immediately before I started this book.  I found the book a bit difficult to get into at first.  It is written very much in the tone of someone much smarter than I am.  once I got used to the author's tone, it was interesting to see his take on the story.  This is a great book for a lover of Shakespeare's works.
If you aren't, you may want to try something else.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Wives of Los Alamos

When I started reading this book, the writing style bothered me.  It was written in a collective voice, "we arrived, we traveled, we kept secrets".  I quickly got past it and I really loved this book.  We (see what I did there) all know the story of Los Alamos.  Some of us may have even watched the amazing tv series Manhattan.  Have you ever thought about what it was like for the wives and children of the scientists who were sequestered in the middle of the desert for years? This book tells the stories of those wives.  The symbolism of the one voice is exactly perfect for this story. I highly recommend.

The Fatal Gift of Beauty (Amanda Knox)

Like many, I know a weird amount of information about the Amanda Knox case.  This book actually added to my wealth of knowledge.  It takes the viewpoint that one of the reasons that Knox was found guilty was due to the clash of cultures and how ultimately we can't understand where the other is coming from.  I highly recommend.  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch

In the spirit of Girl in a Train, Gone Girl and other recent thrillers comes Dear Mr M by Herman Koch.  Mr. M is a Dutch author named Herman (please note the actually author of the book's name etc)  He lives on the 4th floor. On he 3rd floor is another Herman, who largely goes unnoticed by Mr. M.  This neighbor Herman is writing a letter to Mr. M.  He doesn't seem to be a fan.  And he is stalking the author and his wife.  And he believes that the subject of Mr M's best novel is well, him.  That book focuses on a teacher who went missing, presumably killed by a school boy and girl who were his students.  It seems Herman was the shook boy, whose teacher went missing.  HIghly entertaining, I whole-heartedly recommend.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage and One American Family by Alex Kershaw

As war comes to Paris, an American Doctor, his wife and son have the choice to flee or to stay and protect the American Hoapital and its patients.  Approached by the French Resistance, hey unhesitatingly accept the risk and become a drop location and help ferry many out of Nazi-occupied France, including downed British and American pilots.  Their teenage son takes photographs (even owning a camera was outlawed) to be sent out of the country.  Eventually, all three are arrested by the Gestapo and sent to concentration camps.  Over and over again they are given opportunities to flee due to their citizenship but chose to stay with those weaker than themselves.  This is an amazing story of personal sacrifice.  I highly recommend.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Did you like Kiss Me Kate or Pygmalion, The Taming of the Shrew or My Fair Lady?
This is a rebelling set in modern day by an amazing author Anne Tyler.  This is the story of a lost young woman who is stuck in a preschool job that she's not really great at, has no social life and lives with her distracted scientist father.  He needs her to marry his lab assistant so that thhe assistant can stay in America.  There is really not much more to the story than that.  It was cute and light and a really quick read.  Perfect to throw in your beach bag.  This is part of a series of books by contemporary authors retelling the works of Shakespeare.   I will be seeking out the authors.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I Am No One by Patrick Flanery

This is a very intelligent book and probably not for everyone. The main character is a learned American professor who has recently returned to NYC after many years of living and teaching at Oxford.  The author does an AMAZING job of portraying this character.  So authentic is his voice that at times it's a bit difficult to muddle through. ( Imagine an 8 hour lecture from someone really smart). The story tells on this professor who seems to be under surveillance. He is followed, his phone may be hacked, his email has been hacked and he is receiving weird packages that show every website he has ever looked at and every email he has ever sent.  Well, not really since forever, just since a certain event.
I like this book. It was really interesting and definitely thought-provoking.  It is definitely ot for the casual reader, though!