October 16, 2012
Here's a look at the last three books I read. I can wholeheartedly recommend each of them. They are very different, but all very engaging and entertaining.
Mission to Paris, by Alan Furst - It is the late summer of 1938, Europe is about to explode, the Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl is on his way to Paris to make a movie for Paramount France. The Nazis know he’s coming—a secret bureau within the Reich Foreign Ministry has for years been waging political warfare against France, using bribery, intimidation, and corrupt newspapers to weaken French morale and degrade France’s will to defend herself.
This is the first novel I've ready by this author, but I will probably check out his other books at the library. Very different from my typical read - I don't know that I've even read any other spy novels, although I'm starting to realize that maybe I don't have a "typical". It's not especially fast-paced, but I thought it was unique, I liked the style of writing, the backdrop of Paris in this era was beautiful, and the ending was satisfying.
The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides - Overall, I really enjoyed this book and cared for the three main characters. At least, after a while I did. They do take some time to warm up to. The book is pretentious at times, but I actually found the subjects interesting (victorian literature, philosophy, religion...), so I didn't mind the author's tangents. The ending was satisfying - not in an obvious happy-ending kind of way, but in a more realistic and thoughtful way.
Just Kids, by Patti Smith - Wonderful. Absolutely beautiful. I haven't been a huge Patti Smith fan - not because I'm not a fan of her work, but simply because I'm a child of a different generation and hadn't been exposed to her very much. She was born the same year as my mother. But Patti is an extremely talented writer, and she has created a gorgeous tribute to her life as well as that of her dear friend, a talented artist himself, Robert Mapplethorpe. It was fascinating to get a glimpse of their life in New York City in the 1970s, as they struggled to make their way in the world and determine what kind of artists they would become. Seriously...LOVED this one.