Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When We Were Strangers

I picked up When We Were Strangers because it was the book Laurie's book club over at Crazy Aunt Purl was reading in, oh, February.

when we were strangers

Because of the parameters I set for myself in this challenge and the book diet, I requested the book from the library. I was the first one to get it, but it didn't make it into circulation until May. And it's taken me a few weeks to read it. At one point I put it down and thought I wouldn't be able to finish it. But I'm glad I kept going because I did quite enjoy it in the end! My only frustration with the story was that although the author did a good job of describing her characters, I still had a hard time picturing them. I'm not sure why ... maybe because I mostly read before bedtime and my brain was shutting down? I don't know...

Opi, Irma's village, is in the same region that my maternal grandmother's family was from - it is a very beautiful part of Italy...we spent part of our honeymoon there (although we were pretty much on the opposite side of the region)

I enjoyed the book...I like how Irma learned from what happened around her and in most instances made positives out of very negative situations...and I love how she adapted her sewing skills into a completely different career. I liked that the ending wasn't all happily ever after except that it was...that like doesn't make sense but if you read it, you'll understand what I mean.

The discussion over at Crazy Aunt Purl in March is here and there is also a Q&A with Patricia Schoenewaldt over there too.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Courilof Affair

I have really enjoyed everything else I’ve read by Irène Némirovsky, but this one not so much. I didn’t not enjoy it, but I loved Suite Française and quite enjoyed Fire in the Blood. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a completely different book – it is most certainly not set in the French countryside.

the courilof affair

Interestingly, because it was set in Russia, pre-revolution, my brain kept turning back to The Kitchen Boy (which I also enjoyed immensely and has absolutely nothing to do with this book or this author.

Because I read this a month ago, I don’t think I have anything else to say about it…I’d like to read it again, maybe not when I’m tired and it’s late at night…

City of Fallen Angels

Hi. Do you remember me, blog? I’m your writer and reader. I fell off the face of the earth for a while. I wish I could say it was because I was reading, but I can’t. But I’m back now.

I read my two books in May, I just never got around to posting them. Actually, I read both before the first week of the month was up. I thought I was going to have a very productive month, book-wise, but no. May kicked my butt. And not in a good way.

city of fallen angels

Anyway, City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. I got sucked in by the first book and now I’m addicted. I got to read a very nice new copy of the book though – I was probably the first or second person to borrow my copy from the library.

So, what did I think? Well…it was good. Until the last chapter. Something is up because there’s no way the characters would have allowed what happened to happen. I was talking to a friend who has also read all four and she felt the same way. The characters are too smart and would have been too cautious in a situation like that to do what they did. I don’t want to give it away because, well, there would be little point in reading the whole book if I told you the last chapter.

The only thing that has my hopes up is that at the end of the first book a devastating secret was revealed, but through a series of twists and surprises by the end of the third book (I don’t think it’s the second) it turns out the secret wasn’t quite accurate…

But it’s a good book. Read the first three first and if you can, read the first Infernal Devices book, Clockwork Angel. It’s not essential, but it explains some things quite well…