Sunday, May 31, 2015

Between the sheets

(Of paper, that is.) Been reading some interesting books lately. A few three-sentence reviews:

  1. Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand. This is the almost unbelievable true story of Louie Zamperini, an Olympic runner-turned-WWII-airman-turned-POW. Zamperini showed incredible resilience in the face of soul-crushing circumstances. This book shows us just how awful and just how wonderful humanity can really be.
  2. Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit. In this book, we hear the nameless, faceless voices of all of the wives who came to Los Alamos under the cloak of not knowing. These women left everything and everyone they knew at the veiled behests of their husbands, living their lives and raising their children in secret. While I did enjoy the book, the "we" convention the author uses grated on me after a while, and I found myself wishing Nesbit had focused on three or four key characters.
  3. The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud. I wanted to like this book, but I couldn't love any of the characters. Messud's NYC society is vain, selfish and often senseless, and I found it difficult to root for any of them. Though the writing is good, and the situations believable, I didn't want to spend time with any of these folks.
  4. After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman. The lives of the Brewer family (all women) are defined by the absence of patriarch Felix. Having skipped town to avoid jail time, Felix has left decades of questions in his wake. By the end of this stirring novel, Lippman has provided necessary closure, but not pat satisfaction.
  5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This book totally slayed me. I loved the device of it, and I loved the characters. Flynn surprised me, kept me thinking and, in the end, completely got in my head.

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