So last week, I kind of forgot about Wednesday, until all of a sudden it was Thursday night. Short weeks always mess with me.
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour: A Novel
Paul O'Rourke is a successful Park Ave dentist who loves the Red Sox, hates technology (except for message boards about the Red Sox) and is not a fan of organized religion. Then somebody fakes his identity online, creating a website for his dental business, a Facebook account, a twitter account, commenting on message boards and even emailing with him. This puts him into a tailspin, as he tries desperately to prove that he's not the Paul O'Rourke online--yet, he stops to listen to what this other person has to say about him and the way he's lived his life, too. I loved the voice in this novel, as well as the premise. It was not a read that I fell right in to, but it was a read that made me laugh out loud on occasion and one that made me think a little, too.
We Were Liars
Cadence, Johnny and Mirren are cousins who spend every summer at a private island owned by their grandfather, joined by Johnny's friend Gat--who comes from a decidedly less wealthy background. Together, they form the Liars and the bond they share is one that rekindles each summer. The fifteenth summer on the island is a little different, though. Cadence spends most of it trying to piece together her memory of what happened in a previous summer, knowing only that she was injured and now goes through horrific periods of migraines and other after effects.
I went in to this book having read only the synopsis on Amazon and was definitely the better for it. I didn't read any spoilers (seriously, stay away from Amazon) and just fell into the spell of the book and watching Cadence desperately try to repair herself and the Liars that I enjoyed the story and the turns it took. It kept me reading past bedtime because I wanted to know how it ended.
I sat in on an interview where I got to ask candidates what would be their ideal book to teach to middle schoolers. One candidate mentioned this book. I'd never read it and it sounded interesting. Written from the perspective of John and Lorraine, two teenagers, Pigman tells the tale of how a dare ends up with an unlikely friendship with Mr. Pignati. Except that by the time of writing, Mr. Pignati is dead and John and Lorraine say that it wasn't murder, not really. This book was not the most uplifting, but it had surprising humor in amongst the sadness and a really good lesson.
Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage
I don't read a lot of memoirs because I often think things like, "Why do I want to read about your boring life? I have my own." This one was good, though, and told the story of the opening of Delancey, the trials and tribulations of getting a restaurant off the ground and what it does to a marriage. I also loved that the author included recipes after each chapter. This led to Shane making a delicious fried rice with kale. Aside from that, it was really fascinating to read about how they took a dream and made it a success.
Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel
Once there was a girl named Boy who ran away from her abusive rat catcher of a father, to fall in love with a man and become loving stepmother to a girl named Snow, until she has a daughter of her own, named Bird. Boy never dreamed she'd become a wicked stepmother, but when Bird is born with skin darker than her mother or father, it becomes evident that her husband's family are light-skinned African-Americans "passing" as white. Instead of sending away Bird, Boy sends away Snow so to avoid everyone comparing Snow and Bird forever. I loved the prose in this book, as well as the literary allusions. The point-of-view shift at the end lost me a little, but I still overall enjoyed this novel and the message it sends about the choices we make.
What are you reading?