Reading Round-Up: December 2011

Reading is my oldest and favorite hobby.  I literally can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t love to curl up with a good book.  Here are my reads for December, 2011…

Night and Day, by Virginia Woolf – Started in London, and I finally finished it this month!  I hoped to enjoy this “classic English comedy of manners” more than I actually did.  It was well-written, but a bit dreary and I didn’t find any characters to love.

Tears of the Giraffe, by Alexander McCall Smith – Loved the second installment of the adventures of Precious Ramotswe and the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency!  It was a fun, light read and I’m already looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Shakespeare’s Kitchen, by Lore Segal – I liked this collection of interrelated short stories, especially toward the middle.  It got a bit heavy-handed with the insights into human nature by the end, but there were some really great passages throughout.

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens – I’d been meaning to read this forever and finally got to it this holiday season.  It’s a fast read, unexpectedly funny in parts, and I can see it becoming a Christmas tradition for me!  Really enjoyed it.

The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka – This new release, like Otsuka’s last novel (When the Emperor Was Divine), was almost more like poetry than prose.  An account of the stories of Japanese picture brides in the early 1900s, told in the first person collective – a really interesting choice that worked extremely well – it packed a powerful punch.  Highly recommended.

The Postmistress, by Sarah Blake – This one had been on my to-read list for awhile and I enjoyed it.  It’s the story of an American “radio gal” in London during the Blitz, and the way her life intersects with the residents of small-town Franklin, Massachusetts.  An interesting, engaging story, but the word choices were a bit weird at times (as the New York Times review pointed out).  Still, a good read.

Possession, by A.S. Byatt – Another one from the to-read list, I really loved this story of two literary scholars unearthing a hidden affair between a pair of Victorian poets.  It was a smart and exciting book and if you can tolerate some sexy scenes, well worth checking out.  I’m definitely planning to rent the movie, too.

Another good reading month!  I sprinkled a few new releases and a bit of lighter reading in amongst the classics and enjoyed myself thoroughly.  As always, to see full reviews of all the books I read, feel free to follow me on Goodreads!

2 thoughts on “Reading Round-Up: December 2011

  1. Wow! So many new books you have read! 🙂
    I am looking forward to read The Postmistress.
    I read The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, but was not overly impressed with it. Found it way too simplistic. However, I do want to give a shot to other books by Alexander McCall Smith.

    Have you read Memoirs Of A Geisha? The bit about the Japanese picture brides reminded me of that. It is a beautiful, beautiful book.

    • “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” is definitely not high-brow lit! I liked it though, thought it was cute and fun. The second one was better because less time was spent introducing characters.

      I have not read “Memoirs of a Geisha” but have always wanted to. I must check it out!

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