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Sorry this is a few days late. Things have been crazy, and I've been either happy but too busy to write or sad and therefore not feeling like it. Anyway. The mini-reviews might be even more mini this time, but it's something, at least. Again, five books for the month, which is not that bad, I guess, considering that I also worked two jobs, went to class, wrote a novel, and knit Christmas presents.
(Explanation of the ratings)
How Town by Michael Nava
Comments: The third in the Henry Rios series. Like the others, very good. This one gets into Henry's past and his psyche, which makes things interesting. There wasn't as much of Henry's lover Josh as I would have liked, but we did get to meet Henry's long-lost sister. As I've said before, I highly recommend the series in general.
When the Bough Breaks by Jonathan Kellerman
Comments: The first in the Alex Delaware series; I've read a few others, but I decided to go back and read the whole series in order. It's definitely a fast-paced, enjoyable read, and I'm looking forward to discovering how the characters evolve throughout the series. My one main problem with this book was in Kellerman's descriptions of people, especially women and gay men. I tried to remind myself that it was written twenty years ago and tried to just enjoy the story. It sort of worked.
Hidden Law by Michael Nava
Comments: The fourth in the Henry Rios series. I didn't like it quite as much as the others I've read, which is why it gets a slightly lower rating, but I'm not sure if I really didn't like it as much or if I'd just read too many Nava books in a short span of time. Or maybe my main problem with it was that not-very-nice things happened with Henry and Josh's relationship. (Trying to avoid blatant spoilers here.) Still, a good read, and I still love the series overall.
Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron
Comments: Pretty good. It's a very short book, and I somehow felt like it was too short in some places and dragging in others. Still, a fascinating picture of a very interesting mind. I did think Styron was rather flip about the effects that his depression had on those around him, especially his wife. My basic conclusion was that I'm not sure I'd like him much as a person, but I definitely want to read more of his books.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Rating: 5 (yes, FIVE)
Comments: Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I loved this book. Loved loved loved it. So much that I'm having a hard time being very coherent about it. But it's about love and loss, and life and death, and grief and art, and hey, it just won the National Book Award. It's not exactly the happiest read, but with that caveat, I can't recommend it highly enough, especially if you're going through the aftermath of any sort of loss in your life (not just death). I made my roommate read it and I'm giving it to my parents for their birthdays. Both of them. It's that good.
My reading goal for December is to finish some of the books that have been languishing partially read. Starting the month, I had a list of ten (and that was after taking off five that had gone back to the library or otherwise been abandoned). I'd really like to start the new year with a clean slate. Wish me luck. So far, I've finished one of the ten, am a few pages from finishing another... and am about to start something new. Ah well. As Cate keeps saying, two steps forward, one step back.
Posted by Kat at December 6, 2005 08:16 PM