Sunday, June 9, 2013

Books of April and May

The Dinner by Herman Koch, translated from Dutch, takes place during a single dinner at a restaurant where two brothers meet to discuss an important family issue.  It's slow moving, filled with many flashbacks and at least 2/3 of the book is over before you find out the real issue, then it creeps slowly along to a climax.  I had heard good things about it but I wasn't impressed.

The Winner by David Baldacci is what my book club refers to as a guilty pleasure.  A thriller about a girl who is set up by a mysterious stranger to win the lottery.

Death, Dying and Dessert by Susan Lieberman.  You may wonder what this title means.  It refers to a discussion group on end of life issues that also includes dessert.  Because I'm a member, I was familiar with the content but I read it anyway.  It's a book I recommend to everyone, whatever your age or your health.  Wise and important information.  Belongs on anyone's bookshelf.

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco was a book club selection and a worthwhile read.  A medieval mystery that takes place in a monastery, it holds your attention despite some of the long passages about the views of various monastic orders.  The interview with Eco was delightful.  Note:  I bought a book that contains background information and translations of the many Latin passages.  Even though I relied on the "cliff notes" I enjoyed the book.

The Storyteller is a different sort of book from Jodi Picuolt because it has no trial and because it's a Holocaust story.  Various stories--the narrator's, her grandmother's, a tale her grandmother wrote are woven together.  A fast read, but it doesn't provide much that hasn't already been told about the Holocaust so it seemed a little flat.

In My Beloved World, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor shares her remarkable journey from the projects of the Bronx to her appointment to the federal bench.  What an amazing woman.  No matter what your politics, you can't help but admire this brilliant and courageous woman.  Highly recommeneded



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