October 3rd, 2011

Jazzy Looking Around the Corner

September Reads

66. House of Wolves by Matt Bronleewee
67. Only You, Sierra by Robin Jones Gunn This is a refreshing young adult book where the teenagers do not worry about their looks and if they do they are reminded about what is really important. In this book we are reintroduced to Sierra Jensen whom we were introduced to in the Christy Miller series. At the beginning of the book she is preparing to return to America from England where she has been serving on a missions team in Ireland. In the airport she meets a young man who is older than her and has random meetings with him. When she does finally return home her family has moved to Portland, Oregon from the small northern California town that she grew up in so that her parents can take care of her grandmother who is suffering from dementia. With any young single woman she wonders if he is the right guy for her and even arranges to try to meet him on his college campus. Her parents do talk sense into her about using the car wisely and about meeting new people in her new town. This book was originally written in the late nineties and it doesn’t have all of the technology that we have today though she does talk about getting a cell phone. However there is one scene in the book that would not have happened if she had her own cell phone that she could make phone calls from internationally.
68. Flawless by Sara Shepard
69. The V Club by Kate Brian This book is about a group of friends who are competition for a scholarship to any school of their choice, however the catch with this scholarship is the requirement that the receiptant be pure which is interrupted to mean being a virgin. The group of girls and a guy decide to start a virginity club in order to support their efforts to stay pure. Riley, the lone guy in the group gets a lot of teasing from the guys about his decision to stay a virgin until marriage. However, if you expect a lot of religious things in the book you would be disappointed since it does deal with the real pressure that young people have in order to have sex. Each of the main characters in the book makes the decisions about sex which is right for them at the time and the issue of being pure until marriage is not in the book constantly. As expected with a group of females vying for a prize there is backstabbing going on between the friends. The ending is unexpected though everyone is able to reach their goal in the end.
70. Life Class by Pat Barker
71. Fear and Yoga in New Jersey by Debra Galant This book is about a typical upper middle class family living in New Jersey. The father’s job is outsourced to the Philippians right when a hurricane is about to hit Florida where his in-laws live. They are Reform Jews while the dad and his family go to a Unitarian Church. Nina the wife owns her own yoga studio and when a litigious student is injured she worries about how to pay for it. This book takes a humorous look at middle class America today.
72. Still Life Paintings by Karen Fowler This collection of short stories is a quick read. The first story about a woman who has a nervous breakdown after a tragic event in her life. She paints the same image over and over again not recognizing that it is the same image when she does have a breakthrough she does break down. The second story is about a harried mother who uses different art forms to teach her children about tolerance. She also teaches herself an important lesson as well. In her third story, a young woman sees her ex boyfriend’s work in an art gallery and she realizes that each of the paintings hold an important message for her.

Books 15-17

Title: The Breath of God
Author: Jeffrey Small
Themes/Topics: Religion, Life of Jesus, Poor Man's Dan Brown

I'm going to quote my friend Chris on this one, "This book had a lot of potential." It did, and it did not deliver. I consider this to be a "poorly written Dan Brown novel." To explain, although I loved the story of Dan Brown's writings, I don't find them particularly well written, and this novel was clunky.

I thought this novel was too long, too cliched, and just not good.

Title: The Peach Keeper
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Themes/Topics: Magical Realism, Destiny

Looooooooooooove this book. As with all of Sarah Addison Allen's novels, this is an easy read, and leaves you with happy thoughts. Magical realism at its finest. If you have ever read and enjoyed Alice Hoffman, give Allen a try and you won't be sorry

Title: Nobody's Fool
Author: Richard Russo
Themes/Topics: Aging, Personal Demons, Character Development

Russo is one of my favorite authors because of his ability to weave incredible narratives with layered and believable characters. It almost feels as if you aren't reading a book, instead it seems like you are listening in on a real town and the triumphs and failures of daily life. Highly recommend this read, but know you need patience. I think Russo's novels are like Seinfeld in that they are in some ways, "about nothing" so if you are waiting on plot twists and turns, you may be disappointed.