Tag Archives: review

Favorites Friday: The White Hotel

The White HotelThe White Hotel by D.M. Thomas

Surreal and beautiful. A fantastic book that combines prose and poetry in an intoxicating mixture. Set in a resort style hotel we see people going about a wealthy holiday with seemingly no awareness that the world is changing around them. As the book builds and swirls, however, the enormity of the times and realization that something is wrong becomes inescapable. I am forever indebted to the friend who first gave this to me. Reading it was a thoroughly inspiring and enjoyable experience.

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Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 1

Best Books Read in 2011

1. Room by Emma Donoghue

Not many authors can write well from a child’s point of view, especially when writing for an adult audience. In Room, Emma Donoghue does precisely that. She conveys a haunting tale with beauty and wonder and terror. I was skeptical when I picked up this book. After putting it down seven months ago, I still think of it regularly. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Original Review

2. The Christ-Haunted Landscape by Susan Ketchin
3. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
4. The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 2

Best Books Read in 2011

2. The Christ-Haunted Landscape: Faith and Doubt in Southern Fiction by Susan Ketchin

The Christ-Haunted Landscape takes its name from a quote by Flannery O’Connor: “I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.” Having grown up in the South, this rang true. Rarely do I spend so much time thinking about a book while reading it or take 5 months to do so. Comprised of interviews with and excerpts from the works of 12 authors, this book reminded me of where I am from. I recommend it to anyone interested in writing or in the interaction between beliefs and reality.

Original Review

3. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
4. The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Worst Books Read in 2011 – # 2

Worst Books Read in 2011

2. Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

This is a teenage girl on zombie love story. It takes place in a neo-Victoria post-apocalyptic society. It includes the phrase “extra sparkly unicorn fart kind of special” and is from a series titled Gone with the Respiration. This is a picture of the author:

Original Review
My friend Ala’s brilliantly funny review

3. Sequence by Adrian Dawson
4. Leaving Atocha Station by Ben Lerner
5. The Man Who Couldn’t Eat by Jon Reiner
6. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
7. Stolen World by Jennie Erin Smith
8. The Black Company by Glen Cook
9. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
10. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 3

Best Books Read in 2011

3. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

This reads more like poetry than prose. Simply put, it is beautiful.

Original Review

4. The Forever War by Dexter Filkins
5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Worst Books Read in 2011 – # 3

Worst Books Read in 2011

3. Sequence by Adrian Dawson

To quote myself, boring and an affront to scientists everywhere.

Original Review

4. Leaving Atocha Station by Ben Lerner
5. The Man Who Couldn’t Eat by Jon Reiner
6. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
7. Stolen World by Jennie Erin Smith
8. The Black Company by Glen Cook
9. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
10. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 4

Best Books Read in 2011

4. The Forever War by Dexter Filkins

With wars as complicated as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is natural that many of the books published dwell heavily on the hows, whys, blame, and credit. The Forever War did none of that. Written by Dexter Filkins, a reporter who spent long stretches of time in both countries and was embedded with troops on multiple occasions, it reads more like oral history than your typical history. It is a story about the people living and fighting in those countries. For that, it receives every bit of praise I can give.

Original Review

5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Worst Books Read in 2011 – # 4

Worst Books Read in 2011

4. Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

Wonder if Ben Lerner points to his own book when teaching his students what a Mary Sue is?

Original Review

5. The Man Who Couldn’t Eat by Jon Reiner
6. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
7. Stolen World by Jennie Erin Smith
8. The Black Company by Glen Cook
9. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
10. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale


Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 5

Best Books Read in 2011

5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

For the first hundred or so pages of this book, I did a lot of complaining about the amount of math and the detail into which Stephenson goes about mathematical theory. Somewhere along the way, I managed to be drawn into this many layered story that is at times, humorous, at times tragic, and at times WTF. I ended up loving it.

Original Review

6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett


Lists: Worst Books Read in 2011 – # 5

Worst Books Read in 2011

5. The Man Who Couldn’t Eat by Jon Reiner

All whine, all the time.

Original Review

6. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
7. Stolen World by Jennie Erin Smith
8. The Black Company by Glen Cook
9. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
10. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale