A few things:
Republic of Wine is weird. Good, but surreal. I think it might make more sense if I were a least as partly drunk as the characters. Of couse, that worked so well when I played "Keeping up with Dmitry" when I read The Brothers Karamazov. (To my defense, that was my *professor's* idea.)
I am an utterly shallow person. This can be witnessed by the fact that I will wait patiently until Jasper Fforde's Something Rotten and Louise Rennison's Away Laughing on a Fast Camel come out in paperback before I buy and read them. Why? You ask. Because, I want all the books in a series to physically match on my bookshelf. I am denying myself pleasure so my shelves look bettter. I told you I was shallow.
See, not writing reviews after reading the book, I can't remember enough, so...
Short and Sweet things:
Of the two David Lodge books I read, Thinks... was vastly superior to Therapy. Therapy, overall, was just meh. Thinks... was pure Lodge-tastic.
The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde is phemonal. (The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, and The Well of Lost Plots) One big inside joke for those of us who read a lot, but still enjoyable to someone, like me, who is low on classics education. These books, did, of course, inspire me to pick up more classics. Yay for that. Yay for Thursday Next! Smart and absurd and light quick reading.
Out of the contemporary lit. by women pile I read Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, The Time-Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and The Red Tent by Anita Diamont.
The Red Tent was one of my favorite books last year, definetely the best out of this trio.
Bel Canto comes next and The Time-Traveler's Wife was last.
The Red Tent was the first work of fiction I've read by Diamont, but her Choosing a Jewish Life impacted me in different ways. But, oh, The Red Tent is phenomanal and fantastic. It is the story of Dinah, daughter of Leah and Jacob of Biblical fame, told in her voice. As she is only barely briefly dealt with in the Bible, it is largely imagined, and how! Beautifully written and moving and outstanding and astonishing and superb. You should read it. Now.
I like all of them, but I thought ...Wife could have dealt with some issues better. The main character had some extremely violent episodes, but we never get to explore the darker side. We never explore how the wife's complete lack of other romanitc involvment has stunted her. We never explore the ramifications of growing up with an adult version of your husband and knowing early on that he will be your husband. It's like an arranged marriage almost and we never explore the greater impact... I just wish it would have done more. It could have done more but wanted to be a sweet love story. So it was. Nothing more.
Bel Canto was nice and I recomend it.