March 12, 2013

Recently Read

One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This is on every list of "books one must read in their lifetime", and several friends described it as "life-changing".  It won the Nobel Prize!  I really wanted to love it.  Now that I've finally finished it, I can definitely say that I appreciate the scope of the book, I understand the theme, and the writing is beautiful in parts.  However, I didn't fall in love with it.  It is incredibly long, and so many of the characters have the same name!  With each generation, it became more and more difficult to remember who was who.  The last hundred or so pages felt like I was slogging through the mud just to get through it.  I did get through it, and I'm happy I did, but it didn't change my life.

Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan
I am a big fan of Ian McEwan.  I love his style of writing; and I usually feel like I learn something when I read his books, whether it's a bit of history or philosophy or a few new words.  I enjoyed this book, and it was engaging throughout.  It wasn't a "can't put it down" thriller, but it was entertaining.  It takes place in the 1970s, and the main character, Serena Frome, is recruited into MI5.  The book is about an operation code-named Sweet Tooth, in which England is attempting to influence the cultural conversation by supporting writers who agree with the government. 

Tenth of December: Stories, by George Saunders
This is a book of short stories, and they are varied in style and scope and length - one story is only two pages long!  They are all interesting and thought-provoking.  Some of them funny.  Some tragic.  Heroic.  Depressing.  I am always in awe of writers who can tell stories in so many different voices from different perspectives.  I highly recommend this one.  


  1. I've had the first book on my bookshelf of "must-reads" forever it seems....the other day I saw someone reading it on the train and thought to myself that maybe this will be the year I read it!

    I've never read any of Ian McEwan's books, I know people absolutely love them though, I shall add one to my pile :)

    I love reading about what other people have read, have a good day Mary X

  2. I'm bookmarking this for the next time I'm at the library and can't decide on a book. Last Friday I spent an hour and a half browsing and left with something I'd already read. :\ I'm just so afraid of getting something I don't like, because then I feel guilty for not wanting to finish it.


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