Saturday, June 19, 2010

More Book Reviews – June 19, 2010

Here are some reviews of books I’ve read in the last couple of weeks.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Nifenegger - Henry is a time traveler, or a chrono-displaced person.  Basically, he isn't stable in time due to a genetic disorder.  This novel is the story of his time traveling adventures and how they affect his wife.  This is the most well-thought out book about time-travel that I've come across, but also the least fantastical.  For example, Henry can't take his clothes or fillings or anything not part of his body with him. So, when he travels, he shows up wherever he is completely naked.  Henry becomes adept at breaking and entering and becomes a good runner as survival strategies.  I was impressed with the intricacies of this novel, not just in how Henry survives the time-traveling, but the emotional issues that come up around the time traveling.  It's a great story and it's well-told.  There's a lot of adult language, so I'd recommend it for high school and above.  A

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer - I listened to this book on mp3 and truly enjoyed it.  The book is structured as a series of letters among the characters in the years immediately following World War II.  The main character plans to write an article about the experiences of the people of the Channel Islands during the German occupation during the war, but the article expands into far more.  Excellent book.  A

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick - A taut novel about a man who solicits a mail-order bride, the woman who comes to him under false pretenses, and the son with whom he tries to restore family ties.  The author's style of writing, unfolding each bit of the novel bit by bit, giving us each piece of information in a precise order worked quite well.  The suspense was maintained throughout and the numerous storylines all woven neatly together.  My real complaint was the  excessive explicit sexuality.  It wasn't necessary.  I recommend this for adults who are looking for a thrilling novel.  Definitely not for the under 17 set.  B-

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni - This novel is based on a fantastical interpretation of several Biblical passages that have to do with angels and the "nephilim".  In this scenario, there are creatures in the world that are the offspring of humans and fallen angels.  The angelologists are a group of humans that have existed since the time of Noah who are dedicated to destroying these creatures.  This novel revolves around a convent in New York state, a group of angelologists from Europe and the US, and a precious artifact.  I love fantasy literature, but it so often is filled with adrenaline-filled action a la Dan Brown that I find it hard to read.  This book is more fantasy with less action which is more spread out - much more to my taste.  I enjoyed it very much.  It ended in such a way that a sequel is expected, if not required.  I am definitely looking forward to it.  B

I have a whole new stack of books (as you can see on my Shelfari shelf) so I hope to have more reviews in a month or so.  In the meantime, let me know what you’ve been reading and what you recommend.

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