Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rapid Fire Reviews!!!!!!

My stack of books "to be reviewed" is out of control, so let's get right down to it:

title: Henry and June [purchase here]
author: Anais Nin
pages: 274
genre: nonfiction (diary)
published: 1986
source:  New York Public Library

Henry and June features collected entries from Nin's A Journal of Love (1931-1932) and tells of her powerful love affair with Henry Miller.  One of Nin's strengths is her ability to take complex, personal matters of the heart and lay them bare with such intelligence, insight and raw honesty.  Eloquent, brave and intensely personal, Nin's journal was nothing short of riveting.

Rubric rating: 9

title: Oracle Night [purchase here]
author: Paul Auster
pages: 243
genre: literary fiction
published: 2003
source:  New York Public Library

This was my first time reading Auster and I was impressed.  The man KNOWS how to tell a great story.  Oracle Night's plot is nothing short of brilliantly constructed.  It follows author Sidney Orr who, while recovering from an illness that almost killed him, buys a new blue notebook at a neighborhood stationary shop and starts working on a new project.  His next nine days are nothing short of bizarre. 

Auster's strength is his ability to create a story so compelling and so riveting...and the last 40 pages are nothing short of genius.  

Rubric rating: 8

title: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? [purchase here]
author: Jeanette Winterson
pages: 230
genre: memoir
published: 2011
source:  I won this book playing Name That Author on Book Riot 
(the answer that week was Vladmir Nabokov)

This book has been my subway read for the past two weeks, and having Winterson's company on my morning and evening commute as been nothing short of delightful.  In this memoir, she takes on topics such as literature, her childhood, religion, and sexuality, each with wisdom and humor. Make no mistake, Winterson's childhood was crazytown, but she handles the topic with such balance and generosity and grace...the result is moving.  

Rubric rating: 7.5

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