Book Review–An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro

An Artist of the Floating WorldAn Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great book I really enjoyed. I love Ishiguro’s writing–always beautiful and elegant. This is a tale of a painter named Ono looking back on his life right before and during the second world war while also trying to arrange a marriage for his second daughter. Ono is another unreliable narrator, just like the narrator in Ishiguro’s first book, and it’s interesting to read his thoughts and views, always wondering how accurate they really are. Highly recommend. I’m looking forward to reading “The Remains of the Day” next. I read in an interview with Ishiguro that it is a more complete version of his first two books–“A Pale View of the Hills” and “An Artist of the Floating World”.

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Book Review–A Pale View of the Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro

A Pale View of HillsA Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautifully written novel about a woman named Etsuko who looks back on her early life in Japan after her eldest daughter has committed suicide. I loved the way the story came together in the end. I read a few interviews with Ishiguro concerning this novel before I read it, so I knew how it would end, which wasn’t such a bad thing because I might have been a bit confused otherwise. If you like Ishiguro, this is definitely worth reading.

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Book Review–Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Sweet ToothSweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another wonderfully written novel by Ian McEwan. I had the pleasure of meeting McEwan about a week after I started reading it. He talked about how he came up with the idea and then did a reading and book signing. Knowing his reasoning and having heard him read passages made it all the more enjoyable to read.

I liked Serena, from whose point of view the story is told. She is likable and easy to relate to. I also enjoyed her love affairs with Tony and Tom. The ending was left somewhat open. Most of the loose ends were tied up, but we never really find out what happens with Serena and Tom. Yet there is enough information that the reader can draw their own conclusions and not be let hanging, wishing the author had just finished the story.

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Book Review–Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp ObjectsSharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I couldn’t decide whether to give this book three or four stars. The story is told from the point of view of Camille Preaker, a journalist who travels back to her hometown to cover the story of two young girls that were murdered. None of the characters in this book were likeable, including Camille. It would have been nice for at least one character to have some redeeming value, but I found that lacking in all the characters, even the murdered girls. And while the two girls didn’t deserve to die, I didn’t think their deaths would be any real loss to society. The story left me feeling depressed the whole time I was reading it (quite honestly, I was glad when I finished it), yet I could not seem to put it down. The story pulled me through, it was well-written, and I liked the ending, which is why I ended up giving it four stars. I also liked it enough to purchase her other two books even though I’ve read she has a predilection for writing despicable characters.

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Book Review–Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me GoNever Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well-written, sad yet enjoyable story. It held my interest right from the start and got me to think (always a good thing). This was the first book I read by this author and will definitely be reading more of his work.

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Where did the time go?

It’s been quite a while since my last post. Truth is, I completely forgot about my blog. I’ve been busy editing my novel and I was also training for a half marathon. I ran (and finished) the half marathon on Dec. 15th. Now that I’ve recovered a bit from that, I’m trying to get back on more of a schedule to make time for everything. I’m still editing my novel and I’m in the process of switching it to the first person POV. It started off in first, then I switched it to third, now I’m switching it back to first. I like the voice better in first and it just seems to work better with the subject.

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. Happy New Year! Until next time.

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Book Review: Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

Heart of the MatterHeart of the Matter by Emily Giffin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was nothing like I thought it would be. From the description on the inside cover flap, it talked about two women being brought together after a tragic accident. I thought that accident was going to involve a death but that wasn’t the case.

The story is told from two different points of view–Tessa, the wife of a surgeon and mother to two children, and Valerie, a single mother to a six year old. The tragic accident happens when Valerie’s son suffers severe burns to his hand and face. Dr. Nick Russo, Tessa’s husband, is the surgeon who helps Valerie’s son and so begins their slow moving relationship which eventually turns into an affair. That was the extent of the book, a man cheating on his wife and the aftermath. It was a very slow moving book, yet easy to read because most of the chapters were really short. A book about an affair and nothing more is really not enough to hold my attention. I found myself wishing the book would just end and the last 68 pages seemed to drag on forever. I did read “Something Borrowed” by this author which I did enjoy and it was why I picked this book up (well that, and it was a bargain book at Barnes & Noble), but I think this will be the last book I read by Giffin.

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