Tuesday, December 6, 2011


November has caught me reading several books at a time, which is always tricky - once I divert my attention it's hard to say whether it will ever return. 

I started An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England: A Novel, by Brock Clark, but only got through about half. The tone charmed me at first, but soon grated. He's sort of a modern-day Vonnegut, and his novel would benefit from Vonnegut-like brevity. 

I'm mid-way through Chang and Eng, by Darin Strauss, which I'm enjoying but seem to have put down for a little while. More about that one in the future.

We the Animals, by Justin Torres, is a first novel and a truly wonderful book, which always bodes well for the future. It's very short, which lets you gulp it down in a sitting or two; just the way it should be experienced. This story of the youngest of three bear-cub brothers and their very young parents is emotionally charged, to say the least. It's one of those very visceral novels, with no real dialogue, and a compelling immediacy. Highly recommended. It really deserves a post of its own, but may not get one.

I read two kid's books this month:

The Liberation of Gabriel King, by K.L. Going, is a good story, well-told, about a fearful boy and his best friend in the just-starting-to-segregate South of the 60's. 

I Am the Ice Worm, by Maryann Easly was so-so; interestingly set in the Arctic, but spotty in terms of plot and character. My book-obsessed 10-year-old liked it.

Now we're into December, and I'm reading yet another great book. Stay tuned...