Friday, June 10, 2011

Fiction & Non-Fiction

A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve
It had a fascinating beginning, where every word and nuance seemed important.  A young couple, Margaret and Peter move to Kenya where Peter can be a doctor studying Equatorial medicine.  Margaret, a photographer is somewhat restless.  They meet a couple who encourages them to go on a dangerous hike up Mt. Kenya.  The trip, which seemed ominous, turns out to be full of critical incidents that leave Margaret and Peter off balance. The rest of the book is them trying to cope with the consequences of the trip.  It ended in a very odd (I thought) way that I didn't really expect.  The last two sentences left me somewhat scratching my head, "That's it?"  Still, it was interesting along the way.  It feels like a "literary" book rather than an "entertainment" book, if you get what I mean, but I was still entertained.

The Book of Spies by Gayle Lynds (audio)
In the genre of Dan Brown and the DaVinci Code, this book is a CIA/spy/government adventure tale of a librarian and book preservationist, Eve.  Eve conveniently has a martial arts background.... who is framed for the death of her husband.  A stranger comes to get her released from jail if she helps him find the Holy Grail of books, "The Book of Spies".  She meets up with a bunch of interesting characters and seems to have convenient friends all over the world.  The book was a little hard to follow in audiobook form and I probably would have enjoyed it more and followed the story (and all the people and locations) better reading it. Still, I would consider reading more from the author and would recommend it to my husband who would likely enjoy it.

The Girl with the Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace
I didn't get through the collection of short stories on audiobook. The book was too full of "asides" and tangents for me to follow on audiobook. The first story had a very flippant tone.  I almost didn't notice when the first story ended and the second began.  The post of the first story being so weak, more of a ironic caricature than a story.  I didn't bother to listen to the whole thing.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
A mysterious saga bridging 4 generations of how a small English child in 1913 came to be abandoned on a ship bound for Australia.  The lies and twists of fate that brought the great-granddaughter in 2005 to unravel the plot years later.  Along the way, the secrets of the maze and walled English Garden where the child had once resided are unveiled. A long book, probably more than 500 pages, it was very interesting, especially the last 100 pages as the 'Aha!' moments are abundant.  A very good read. 

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