Thursday, November 5, 2009

...and the books that were read in the meantime...

Here are some of the books I've read this year. I can't remember if there were others, but if they were, they were obviously highly forgettable.

Swimming, a beautiful, evocative novel set around the suburbs of Melbourne I know so well. The novel centres on one woman's journey through the experience of childlessness. There are many gut-wrenching scenes here, and the theme is sensitively and honestly explored. This first novel is capably handled by a talented and promising new writer, Enza Gandolfo.
At a writers' conference a couple of years ago, I heard one of the writers say she had put off reading any of La Vyrle Spencer's books because she thought her name was so awful. I confess I had the same impression. And how wrong we both were. After reading That Camden Summer, I have nothing but praise for Spencer. Though there is so much head-hopping in this book that it was sometimes difficult to know whose thoughts I was reading, it hardly got in the way. The story was wonderful, as were the characters. Un-put-downable.

Oh, dear. After hearing so many wonderful things about Isabel Allende, I must confess I will probably never read one of her books again. Allende's writing is masterly, there is no doubt of that, and though Daughter of Fortune told a story full of intrigue and promise, a rushed ending left far too many loose ends for my liking.The story of Laura Bush was a fascinating peek into the private life of a very public person. I thoroughly enjoyed American Wife, for its competent, smooth writing, but mostly for its voyeur quality.

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