Le Weekend Reading

Posted: August 7, 2006 in Current Reading

Not all surprises are good surprises, but recently I’ve discovered one that is. I’ve managed to find what I can only describe as my own personal warp drive (have been watching lots of Star Trek re-runs lately – does it show?) when it comes to reading speed. Perhaps it’s just a virtue of necessity, in the face of an ever-growing pile of books to read. Whatever it is, it’s working and I’m not about to question it. Set phasers to stun!

(Sorry .)

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The first book I read over this past weekend was Amy Ephron’s A Cup of Tea. Like so many of my other reads, this was recommended to me by a friend with similar reading taste. The book is somewhat reminiscent of Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, and set in the same general era. Ephron’s a contemporary writer, and her style is the more concise and sparing of the two. Though her book misses the depth of Wharton, it’s a good book to cozy up with for a couple of hours. I’d call it Wharton Lite, if forced to define it. (N.B.: No idea why anyone WOULD force me to define it, but it’s best to have your story prepared beforehand.)

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The book is about a love triangle and makes for a very quick read. Love triangles usually do find a way to be compelling, just by their very nature, and this one’s well written to boot.

After the Ephron I finished a book I’ve been working on for a while now, Jim Lynch’s wonderful coming-of-age story, The Highest Tide. Even without a working knowledge of the sea or marine biology this is a beautiful, lyrical book. It has a magical feel, and a sense there’s more out there in this crazy, cosmic world than we can very easily define. That’s not to say it goes over the edge in a New Age-y way. It doesn’t quite go that far, but it does hint there’s more in heaven and earth than we’ve dreamt of in our philosophies. It’s good to be reminded of that, every now and then, and a good consciousness-raising as to Mother Nature and her power doesn’t hurt, either. This book contains all of these things, and more.

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Finally, I read the first book in a young adult trilogy, Adele Geras’s Egerton Series, Book One, The Tower Room. This is a contemporary re-telling of the Rapunzel story, but with a very modern twist. Rapunzel’s role is filled by a young girl who has an affair with one of her teachers, which is something that may make parents a little nervous. The target age for the book is 12 and up, but I’d use a little caution before handing this off to my own 12 year old daughter. The themes are quite mature, and the main character gives her virtue with what some may deem a little too much ease. Even if the teacher is young, the girl is younger still (about 16 or 17). For a more mature young girl the subject matter may be fine, but I would exercise a little parental guidance on this one. Just my two cents’ worth.

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Nothing like a weekend spent reading, eh?

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