Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What Miranda's Reading...

... But Not Finishing.

I've found that working in the cataloging department at the library exposes me to hundreds of books that sound really good. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to read them all. I've started a few but I haven't finished many of them. Here are some of the books I've been kind of reading:

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Now, I've never heard anyone accuse Jodi Picoult of being a great writer. But her M.O. is tackling controversial moral arguments in her stories, and they seem very interesting. My Sister's Keeper is about a little girl who was born to be a genetic match for her older sister who has leukemia. Eventually older sister (can't remember their names and can't be bothered to look them up. One was Anna...) needs a kidney transplant and younger sister decides it's high time she was given the rights to her own body. So she decides to sue her family. Now, I'm all about women and young women having the right to decide what medical procedures are done to their bodies.... but... I just can't get behind this book. Maybe it's because I'm older than the characters in the book so I have more perspective, or maybe it's that I'm the older sister so my situation isn't the same, but I can't imagine letting my sister die for selfish reasons. I didn't finish the book, so I don't actually know how it ends. Maybe I'll pick it up again someday, but for now there are other books I'd rather read.

Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath. There's actually nothing wrong with this book. My only complaint is that the FBI characters are cartoonishly dim. I get that there's a rivalry between the detectives and the FBI but there's a more subtle way to go about this. It was actually really interesting, like an extended episode of Law & Order: SVU. The main character is Jacqueline Daniels (which some people think is too twee, but since I actually have a cousin named Jacqueline Daniels, it seems perfectly plausible. And unlike the Jack in the book, my cousin Jackie was born with the name, she didn't marry into it) and she's kind of awesome. She's a great female character, not stereotypical at all (which is great considering J.A. Konrath is a man), tough and funny. Even though the book describes her as a redhead, in my brain I picture her as Mary from In Plain Sight, only less annoying. So why did I stop reading it if I don't have any complaints? Well, it was taking me forever to read (I usually read just before bed, and the crimes are pretty gruesome), and I just got the next book on my list, and it takes precedent:

Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. I'm only two chapters in, but it's pretty good so far. I've liked almost everything else I've read by Hornby (A Long Way Down is another I started but never finished [possibly because I started reading in an airport and the title seemed inappropriate so I switched to another book I had with me) so I've got high hopes for this.

I think the last book I finished was Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. It was awesome. I want to read more of Anderson's books to see if they're as good as this one was. Wintergirls is the story of 19-year-old Lia after the death of her best friend Cassie. The whole book is told from Lia's perspective, and it has a stream-of-consciousness to it that is very poetic. Lia suffers from anorexia, and the way she deals with food and those trying to get her to eat is really compelling. A friend of mine once said that she prefers books that are about people, not events, and that's what Wintergirls is. There are very few "events" in the book, it's all about Lia and how she interprets the world around her. A wonderful book, pick it up in the Young Adult section of your local library/Barnes and Noble.

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