Reading life review: August

Number of books read in August: 7
Number of books read in 2012: 92
Complete list here.

What Alice Forgot (Liane Moriarty) Fiction. If, on the eve of your fortieth birthday, you suffered a memory loss that essentially erased the previous decade of your life, how would you reconcile your older and younger selves and the gulf of experience (failing relationships, changes of heart, defining friendships, hurts, sorrows, triumphs, etc.) that separated the two? That is the question at the center of what proved to be a pleasant summer novel.

Frankenstein (Mary Shelley) Fiction. With the Misses.

Fly Away Home (Jennifer Weiner) Fiction. I'm actually a fan of Weiner's capable chick lit, but this was a disappointment.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home (Carla Rifka Brunt) Fiction. All of the hackneyed expressions apply: graceful prose, memorable characters, and a heartbreaking narrative. I loved it.

Three Sisters (Anton Chekhov) Play. With the Misses, in anticipation of the Tracy Letts/Ann Shapiro adaptation at the Steppenwolf.

The Island of Doctor Moreau (H.G. Wells) Fiction. With the Misses. A fascinating "companion" to Frankenstein, no? Our discussion touched on such topics as irresponsible "fathers," scientific fervor v. ethics, and the nature of being human.

The Year of Learning Dangerously (Quinn Cummings) Non-fiction. One's initial impression of the narrator is that she is a wry, bright, and often socially awkward introvert (in other words, someone many of us would understand well and probably like), but more than once, an unappealing arrogance seeped into in her "voice." (Consider, for example, the chapter on the Christian homeschooling conference.) And is this a memoir masquerading as a survey of homeschooling methods? Or vice versa? It is not a fully realized version of either, so for this reader didn't succeed as either.

1 comment:

Fanny Harville said...

Running the risk of shameless self-promotion, I want to suggest that you and your students might be interested in my article on Frankenstein and polar exploration...