Book Report: March/April 2018

These lists will mostly be monthly, but I’m starting at a weird time and I haven’t read very much in either month, so here we go!

Sex and the City, by Candace Bushnell – Honestly I didn’t know what to expect. I’d read her newer book One Fifth and adored it. I didn’t even notice that it was the same author until about the third time I read it. So I thought, why not, and got Sex and the City. It’s very different than really anything I’ve read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Don’t look for a really hard plot. Bushnell writes from her experience as a gossip columnist, so all the chapters are split into articles. I loved the character development and the sense of wonder; do people REALLY live like this??

Outsider in Amsterdam, Amsterdam Cops #1, by Jan Van der Werting – Okay so despite almost ordering this in Dutch (its original language), I had a great time with this book. It’s not Sherlock Holmes, and it’s not Law and Order, but something else entirely. The series follows two cops, Adjunct Gristjpa and Sergeant de Gier. The characters are very believable and multi-faceted. If you like a somewhat philosophical, dryly humorous, and very quirky read, check this out. There are many in the series, so many of these lists will feature them. Side note, also check out The Sergeant’s Cat, which is a collection of Amsterdam Cops stories.

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro – This is one of my favorite novels of all time. Seriously. It’s about two women in different time periods, with wonderful imagery and characters. It’s beautifully written, and Grace and Eva are funny, smart, wise, and fascinating women.

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley – Now, yes, I did have to read this for school. If you’re a Shakespeare nerd like me, you will really get into this retelling of King Lear. To be completely honest, I hadn’t read king Lear before my Shakespeare course this semester, but I’m so glad I did, and A Thousand Acres is a brilliantly updated retelling. Updated versions of things tend to make me nervous; they’re hard to pull off without sounding cheesy or cliche. But Smiley definitely knows what she’s doing (I would hope this would be the case, she won a Pulitzer for another of her books).

Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld – Okay yeah I did just say retellings are hard. But this is an updated version of Pride and Prejudice that doesn’t much around with how to keep the same problems alive in the 21st century. The Bennet Sisters are perfectly comfortable in the tech age, and face appropriate challenges; transgender issues, racial and class bias, single motherhood, and how to keep their business private in the information age. It’s not the best novel I’ve ever read, but it’s very fun, and makes the reader think about their own actions.

Footnote: I always recommend checking Thriftbooks online for any books you’re buying. They are often very, very cheap. They also have textbooks. They do not pay me to say this, and I would not want them to. If Thriftbooks does not have the book you’re looking for, please consider buying from a local bookstore. That’s supporting local business, and good karma 🙂

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