Tuesday, January 31, 2006

2005 just keeps rolling on by

We danced in Bloomsbury Square Jean Estoril

A ballet book by the author who writes them the best. Love. The Darke twins are poor Liverpuddlians (isn't that a wonderful word?) who are competing against each other for a scholarship for a ballet school in London. How will it turn out? What happens once they get to London? Estoril's love of Ballet, her knowledge of the insecruites of blooming divas and descriptions on London in the 60s make me come back to her books again and again. It makes me want to cry that they're out of print and that I actually gave away my set of the first 5 Drina books! Ack!

The Three Incestuous Sisters Audrey Niffenegger

How much further away from The Time Traveler's Wifecan you get? This is a picture book with very few words. Beautiful and haunting, with the art telling the story. You can read it in 15 minutes, but I recomend pouring over it for hours.

Female Chauvinist Pigs : Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture Ariel Levy

This book annoyed me. Levy needs to get over the fact that she went to Wesleyan. This far out of college, it shouldn't come up ever few pages. I wanted her to actually make a point about something instead of constantly whinging on about the state of the world and feminism today. And some real scholarship would have been nice as well.

The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame

Am I the only one who thinks the ending is rushed and unbelievable? But I read this edition, which is just beautiful.

Naked Pictures of Famous People Jon Stewart

Funny, but not as good as America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction

First They Killed My Father : A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers Loung Ung

The story of a girl who grew up during the rise and reign of the Khemer Rouge. Told from her point of view, in the present tense, the fear comes alive in the 5 year old's eyes. Gripping stuff. I'm currently reading Lucky Child, the sequel.

The Historian Elizabeth Kostova

I discussed this already, I loved it. It has been described as a smart person's The Da Vinci Code, but I loved that one too, didn't I? But where I felt guilty and sinful for enjoying Dan Brown, not so much with Kostova. Where she has a rip-roaring adventure of archives and art and the stuff of legend, she can actually write and it's a carefully crafted story spanning generations and the globe, told in 3 voices. Plus, it's got everything you could want in a book... Action! Romance! Archives! Librarians! Legend! Rumor! Commie plots! Good monks! Bad monks! Vampires! C'mon!

Clarice Bean Spells Trouble Lauren Child
Utterly Me, Clarice Bean Lauren Child

I talked briefly about Lauren Child being my favorite discovery of the year. Her picture books are some of my favorites (who can't love Charlie and Lola?!) and her realistic whimsy (read it, you'll understand) transfers well to this middle-grade novels. Her innovative use of font and text placement also works well in this setting and Clarie Bean is a loveable character.

Saving Fish from Drowning Amy Tan

I talked about this briefly before, but this is the best book that Amy Tan has ever written (and I've read them all). It doesn't have anything to do with mother/daughter relationships or the Chinese-American immigrant experience. But it has murder, hostages, stupid Americans, the media and a hostage crisis and Burma. Love.

The Kite Runner Khaled Hosienni

I loved this book. Everyone's reading it or has read it, but I loved it. I know some people couldn't get into it, but I loved the language, the text flow, the imagery...

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