Saturday, June 13, 2009

reading roundup

I keep getting behind in writing about the books I'm reading. So again, I'm going to attempt some fairly quick reviews.

The Story of a Widow, by Musharraf Ali Farooqi: a beautiful cover and an intriguing premise, but I felt the whole way through that something was missing. I loved the setting and looked forward to exploring widowhood in another culture, yet I could not fully understand the widow's motivations first for remarrying and second for standing by her new husband. It didn't seem like the motivation was love (as her new husband symbolized "liberation" more than anything) but given Mona's status, it never seemed like societal expectations were the culprit either. The writing was clean and delightful to read, I just can't say that the story worked for me. The motivations were unclear, and in more characters than just Mona. Her daughters left me equally confused.

Swimming in the Ocean, by Catherine Jenkins: it took me two attempts to get into this novel, but I'm glad I did. This is a novel written by a poet, and I was worried that my foggy, pregnant brain wouldn't be able to follow the prose. Luckily I wasn't as far gone as I imagined and I quite enjoyed the meandering, confessional writing. In truth, I have no idea if the character was diagnosed with HIV or not, but it didn't even matter. I generally enjoy this style of writing and I will happily forgive many quirks. This book was refreshing, thought-provoking and satisfying. And it's the 11th novel for my Canadian Challenge (I better get through 2 more in time for July 1st!)

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table, by Molly Wizenberg: what else can I say that a gazillion bloggers haven't already said? This book was downright lovely. I've only checked out Orangette a few times, but knowing that the author took off to Paris after her father passed away and decided to write about food (her true love) was enough to inspire me to pick up her book (I mean, come on - she went to live in Paris). The cover is lovely, the recipes mouth-watering and the writing personal enough without being indulgent. I have never read about food while in bed, and it was so wonderful to slip off into sleep thinking about slow-roasted tomatoes or Pistachio Cake. I was quite sad when I finished the book, but I've passed it to my Mom who already started reading it before she even left my house. So in one word: charming. And highly recommended.

Currently I'm enjoying A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but I think I may have to redirect my reading to something Canadian. July 1st isn't that far away, and I've got a 6 to 7 to 8 pound obstacle about to enter the scene.


sweetsweetlife said... [Reply to comment]

Hey, thanks for the shout-out! I appreciate ever-so-much...So, something Canadian? This is probably cliche, a dumb-old-American kind of suggestion, but Carol Shields is one of my most faves. My best read this summer so far has been "Daughter of Fortune" by Isabelle Allende. I'm just loving it. I've never read her before, so it's a great and refreshing surprise...I'll be checking out lots of the books on your list--thanks for the inspiration! Definately, I'll be checking back with your lovely blog...Cheers!

Gaia said... [Reply to comment]

Hi! I read "A homemade life" this summer and I've just adored and now I'm decided to try all the recipe!

Nice blog...and I would have done the same for the 2 chairs!!!