Christina (christina_reads) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

November reads: #108-114

108. Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song: This true crime novel is about the crime and punishment of Gary Gilmore, who was the first man to be executed in the US since the Supreme Court had suspended the death penalty several years before. The novel is extremely long and detailed, giving a myriad of perspectives on Gilmore's life and death. It's worth a read - if you can get through it! My full review is here.

109. Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes: In this Pulitzer-winning memoir, McCourt tells the story of his impoverished childhood in Limerick, Ireland. The events of the book are (for the most part) terribly sad, yet McCourt's sense of humor is evident. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in memoirs, Ireland, or the American immigrant experience. My review is here.

110. Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea: This might be the shortest novel ever to win the Pulitzer. :) An old man goes fishing off the coast of Cuba, hoping for a big catch after a long run of bad luck. He encounters the largest fish of his career, but he must figure out how to catch it and get it back to shore. The book is rather dull, but it's also very short, so it's worth a read in my opinion. Full review is here.

111. R. D. Blackmore, Lorna Doone: This 19th-century novel explores the romance between John Ridd, a simple yeoman farmer, and Lorna Doone, the daughter of a famous outlaw. The lovers' personal journey takes place amidst the political turmoil of the late 17th century in England. This novel is typical of the 19th century in that it's quite long-winded and digressive; however, fans of the classics should enjoy it. My review is here.

112. Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye: This novel examines race and culture in mid-20th-century America. Pecola Breedlove is a young black girl who desperately wants to have blue eyes, so she can be "beautiful" like the white girls in her town. Yet the futility of her dream, as well as the harsh experiences she must endure, eventually ends in tragedy. I thought this book was extremely good and thought-provoking; I would definitely recommend it. Full review is here.

113. Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner, Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties: This book is a collection of anecdotes from twentysomethings in the late 1990s, as they discuss the various problems they're facing. Issues include career choices, relationship anxiety, and the transition from college life to the "real world." I could relate to a lot of the experiences in this book, but I wouldn't call it groundbreaking. It's also not a very good sociological work, in the sense that there's no statistical evidence to back up the authors' claims.

114. Nancy Werlin, Impossible: This romantic fantasy was inspired by the Simon and Garfunkel song "Scarborough Fair." Seventeen-year-old Lucy Scarborough finds out that the women in her family are cursed; in order to break the curse, she must complete the impossible tasks mentioned in the ballad. The standard fairy tale ingredients are present - a curse, an evil fairy, a heroic quest, and true love - but with a modern twist. I enjoyed this book a lot and found it a very absorbing read. Reviews of #113 and 114 are here.

(Cross-posted to books and 100ormorebooks.)

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