Thursday, April 01, 2010

March: Reading and Reviewing

Eight books this month. Going back to work kind of messed with my zone, but maybe I can get it back again during the upcoming Readathon. Meanwhile, here's what I read in March:

1. Don't Look Back: Satchel Paige in the Shadows of Baseball - Mark Ribowsky.
This biography is also an excellent look at the history, the evolution, the significant players on and off the field, the conflict and finally the dissolution of Negro baseball, often referred to as "blackball." Sometimes Satch seems a peripheral figure.

2. The Turn of the Screw - Henry James.
Earlier this month, I babbled about how impressed I am with this short novel and my new attitude about "The Master".

3. Zoom - Istvan Banyai.
I have no words. Just imagine a picture of my brain crazy-happy and expanding like nobody's business.

4. Grendel - John Gardner.
The story of Beowulf from the monster's point of view. Gardner did a much better job fitting the parallel views together than Gregory Maguire did for the Wicked Witch of the West in Wicked.

5. Dodsworth - Sinclair Lewis.
Getting back to Sinclair Lewis after a few years was like coming home, putting on my comfortable clothing and relaxing into my favorite chair. Now I need the movie version and a big bowl of popcorn and jalapenos!

6. Virginia Woolf - Hermione Lee.
A brilliantly conceived and executed biography. There is no danger of praising it too much or too highly.

7. The Way West - A.B. Guthrie, Jr.
I was mildly dissatisfied with this western offering. I kept thinking about what Larry McMurtry would have done with this trek to Oregon.

8. Say You're One of Them - Uwem Akpan.
Five stories (two of them novella-length) chronicling the hardships in poverty-stricken, war-torn areas of Africa. Akpan's stories, which are narrated by children and adolescents, have a raw power. A difficult read, but I'm glad that I experienced this book.


Anonymous said...

Ha. Well, we both got our monthly reads up. You beat me. ;) With much more literary stuff I might add.

Unruly Reader said...

Popcorn and jalapenos? How are the jalapenos prepared? I'm feeling nervous.

Susan said...

Grendel!! and the Virginia woolf bio!!! two more books on my 'TBR' pile.....I've been meaning to read Grendel for over 20 years and can't seem to find a copy, so dang it! I'm jealous you in Korea beat me to it!! And you make it sound good with one sentence.