Friday, March 14, 2008

check it out! (or not) Books

I spent four days under the weather last week/weekend. That's annoying in it ownself. But it gave me a chance to do a lot of uninterrupted reading. I got through three books in four days, which is a lot for me. The first book, called The Film Club, by David Gilmour, is a non-fiction account of what happened when he let his teenage son drop out of school -- on condition that he watch three movies a week with his father. (And since it was a prepublication copy sent to us by our vendor, it's not available yet. But see Gilmour's website for more information.) I'm a movie nut, so conversations about movies are right up my alley. But the book is even more about the wonderful time this man was able to spend with his teenage son, from age 16 -19. This type of togetherness isn't possible for most.

The second book was Traveling mercies : some thoughts on faith by Anne Lamott. I couldn't put this one down either, and I highly recommend it to one and all. I can't wait to read her other works.

The last book I read was Russel Banks' new novel, The Reserve. Let me tell you that Russell Banks is one of our preeminent N. American writers and the books jacket says this about the book: "The Reserve is a clever, incisive, and passionately romantic novel of suspense." And I read through all 287 pages of it. But I can't recommend this book at all. The plot grew more and more intricate and outlandish and I couldn't imagine anyone doing the things the characters did--my belief was NOT suspended.

That said, I feel bad giving a novel (this one is very well-written) an unfavorable review in a public forum. You might like this book, but I didn't. A couple of months ago I recommended a film to my friend Barbara. Once is "a charming, low-budget, low-keyed, intimate, unpretentious indie film set in contemporary Dublin." It won an academy award this year for best song. I loved this film! Barbara hated it. I couldn't beleive it. As my mom used to always say, "to each his own." You might like The Reserve and I think you'd love Once (but maybe not).

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