Tuesday, June 1, 2010

May Reads II

A very short second half of May reading list - two books. But two remarkable books.
First, I finally finished reading "Moon Tiger" by Penelope Lively. Let me restate that - I finally read the entire book. I began trying to read Lively's Booker Prize winner in 2007 after my friend Kristina recommended it. I didn't like the protagonist. I couldn't understand why my friend thought it was so good - which was unusual because we almost always like the same books. I finally gave up on it with the promise of trying it again someday.
In the meantime, I received a second copy of "Moon Tiger" so I passed it on to Kari, asking her to read it and explain what I was missing. Kari found the redeeming values of the book and wrote a very good review of it on her blog www.bookishdark.com (which I recommend you read because I'm not going to attempt reviewing Lively's book myself.
This time when I picked up the book, I began reading anew without any thoughts of what anyone else had said about it. I was able to read it through, enjoy the story and the language and then discuss it with Kari while she was here. It is one of those books I will re-read in the future. Next time with a pen in hand for underlining and notating. Not only have I finally read "Moon Tiger", I can recommend it as a very good read.
"The Ice House" by Minnette Walters is a book I just happened to pick up while browsing in the Half Price Bookstore a month or so ago. The back page blurb got my attention because it was set in a Hampshire country house. I love English mysteries. Then I saw the book won the John Creasey Award for best first crime novel.
I love it when I discover a new author. And this author is good. As a rule I can figure out 'whodunit' before the end of the book. Not only did I not know who the murderer(s) was, I did not even know who had been murdered! Excellent writing; excellent mystery(s). I must read more. Luckily, the local library has four more of Ms. Walters' books. Hers do not follow a series character, so I do not have to worry about reading them in any order. They are stand alone books, although the library does have her second novel. I believe I will read it next.

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