I finished A Confederacy of Dunces. I ended up really enjoying it. It was particularly funny how Toole's protagonist, Ignatius, kept bashing Mark Twain, and then the novel ended up using alot of Twain's old tricks - episodes, dialects, etc. Anyway, I did like it, even though Ignatius wasn't a very likable hero for the novel.
I also read Drowning Ruth, which I absolutely loved. I read this book in two days. I couldn't put it down. The characterization in this book is masterful. The characters are rich and deep and real. Their choices are conflicted, and their emotions are totally relatable. Schwarz also delights with detailed descriptions of the countryside where the family makes its home - bleak and unforgiving in winter, lush and more kind in the warmer months. A wonderful novel, definitely worth reading. You can read my entire review at Amazon.
Now, I'm on to The Rapture of Canaan. So far, so good. I'll let you know how it turns out.
By the way, if you haven't seen Love, Actually, you should go and rent it. It's very sweet (be forewarned), but it's also very well done. The performances are wonderful (especially Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson), and the stories of all of the different characters weave pleasingly together.
On a related note, I'm thinking of having the family over for an Easter brunch this year. So far, the menu is sausage and cheese quiche, creamy lemon cake, fruit assortment, coffee/tea/mimosas, and roasted breakfast potatoes. Maybe I'll throw in another couple of dishes for good measure.