Monday, April 30, 2012

Bi-Monthly Book Look - March/April

I think I may have set a record for fewest books I've ever read in a two month period.  I managed to finish just three books, all fiction:

Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah

My Rating: 3 out of 5.  This novel follows the friendship of two young teenage girls through high school, college, early adulthood and into middle age.  When a single act of betrayal destroys their friendship, what can bring them back together?  This book is less melodramatic than the synopsis led me to believe and turned out to be an enjoyable read, but it wasn't very memorable.  A month after reading it, I had to review the synopsis just to remember what it was about.

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
My Rating: 4 out of 5.
This is a work of dystopian fantasy, or as Atwood would call it, speculative fiction.  It was both fascinating and disturbing, in that the events are set in the not-so-distant future and seem at least somewhat plausible:

In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey–with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake–through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.

Oryx and Crake is the first book in the Maddaddam Trilogy, although the books don't need to be read in order.  I read the second book, The Year of the Flood, last year; it a stand-alone story that overlaps with Oryx and Crake only a bit.  I've heard the term "sidequel" used, which seems fitting in a way that neither "prequel" or "sequel" do.

The Outlaw Album - Daniel Woodrell
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
This is a book of a dozen short "Ozark noir" stories told in fewer than 200 pages by one of my favorite authors in one of my favorite genres, MO/KS/AR regional fiction.  Things aren't always what they seem, and being outside the law can look like a lot of things, from insanity to revenge, to patriotism to simple grief.
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