Marie’s Reading Three Books At Once!

Yet again I find myself in the position of having a number of books that I’ve just finished, but I don’t have the time to write full reviews for each.  We’re a busy public library with a comparatively small staff.  Each one of us wears lots of different hats and has to do a lot of multi-tasking.  For those of you who don’t know, when I’m not writing these blog posts I am the head cataloger at the library.  I also am on the circulation desk a lot.  And answering reference questions.  And shelving.  And plunging the toilet sometimes.

This is me by 3pm on any given day.
This is me by 3pm on any given day.

Having time to write a blog post is a treat and a gift.  I just haven’t had those time treats lately, and I’m not sure when I’ll get any again.  I mean, I’ve been writing this blog post for over a week and—

Sorry, the phone rang.  Let’s–

Oh for heaven’s sake, now it’s tomorrow.  (<—third attempt this morning to get that sentence typed)

Quick, follow me after the jump so I can tell you about some books!

Okay, while we have time: here are my most recent reads.  Clicking the title will take you to the Shelfari page for the book.

calling me homeCalling Me Home by Julie Kibler
“If Calling Me Home were a young woman, her grandmother would be To Kill a Mockingbird, her sister would be The Help, and her cousin would be The Notebook.”

Well then.  Way to do my job for me, Wiley Cash.   Really, that’s precisely what I thought when reading this book.  In Calling Me Home, the narrative bounces back and forth between the present, where Dorrie is driving the elderly Isabelle to Ohio for a funeral, and the past, where a young Isabelle falls in love with a young African-American man.  The interracial and inter-generational friendship between Dorie and Lillian is the best part of the story, and though you’ll probably see the reveal coming, it’s still heartwarming when you get there.

If you read and enjoyed Kathryn Stockett’s The Help you should give this one a look.  The style is clean and clear, the characters are well-drawn if not terribly complex, and all of the  emotions ring true.

reservoirThe Reservoir by John Milliken Thompson
Based on an actual court case from 1880’s Virginia, The Reservoir is a novel about passion and murder.  When the body of a pregnant young woman turns up in the town reservoir, the investigation into her identity and that of her killer begins.  Fans of true crime who don’t normally venture into fiction might find a lot to like here.  The narrative is very straightforward, particularly when it comes to the law and order part of the story.  Those who like historical fiction might also enjoy the attention to detail–it’s evocative of the time, but the focus always remains on the characters.

silver liningsThe Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Pat believes in silver linings.  He’s spent some time in a mental institution, but now he’s out and wants to better himself so that he can get his estranged wife back.

I really loved the narrative voice.  Pat is a great character to experience the story through–you get everything filtered through his perspective, so you’re left to fill in lots of blanks.  Also, you’re never quite sure if you’re getting the full story from him.  If you enjoy unreliable but entertaining narrators, you might want to give this one a look.  It’s definitely a book to read for character rather than plot, as not too much actually happens.  While I was reading I thought of both Mark Haddon’s the curious incident of the dog in the night-time and Amity Gaige’s great  new book Schroder (which will be the focus of my next review *knock wood*).

Sorry for the drive-by, readers.  If you want to know more about any of these titles feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email at mstickney@librarycamden.org.

I’d stick around but a huge box of books to catalog just came in.  And the phone is ringing.

–Marie

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