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As mentioned in a previous list, I have chosen some of Rory's reads as a category for my 1010 challenge. Here is a description of my impressions.
I have finished My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I enjoy Picoult and her choices of topics, which provide for high drama and heart-wrenching decisions. I do get annoyed however at how she never picks sides. This novel was no exception, but I found that the characters, plot, emotional development and unexpected ending made for a powerful and memorable mix. A real tearjerker that definitely requires a whole box of Kleenex!
My challenge fell by the wayside, but I have finished two more books on Rory's list: Unless by Carol Shields, a very powerful reflection on feminism and women's place in society without ever being preachy and keeping the language and story simple (a real feat!); The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, much more ambitious and pretentious, but a fascinating read on Rand's views and philosophies as they compare today.
It looks like I keep coming back to this list! This time it's with An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser. There definitely some eclectic titles in there, but so far I haven't been much disappointed.
I just finished Bee Season by Myla Goldberg - wow, what a surprising novel! I recommend it, but it's important to read with an open, stable mind!
I read Bel Canto over the summer and loved the bitter sweet feel of it. If only we could live in an utopia....
I have finished Nervous System or Losing my Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jenkin. To be perfectly honest, I thought it would be a nice light fictional read - there aren't many works of non-fiction in Rory's list - so I was surprised to read an account of mental anguish. I'm happy I made the effort: mental illness still holds many taboos and this first person tale breaks through some of the prejudice I may have had. Well written and very accessible, it's definitely worth a try.
I've been catching up a bit with How the Light Gets in, a really fantastic young adult novel which tackles alcoholism and alienation through the eyes of Lou, a brilliant girl still struggling with her own immaturity. I'm not sure Lou evolved as much as I would have liked, but she does learn a thing or two along the way...
Just finished another one: Fat Land by Greg Critser - a bit of a dry read, but despite a few weaknesses, informative with a wide variety of sources.