Showing posts from May, 2015

Polar Book Club True Confession: Winter's Tale Freeze-Out

I hang my head in shame and announce something that should be obvious by now: I did not read Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin, the Polar Book Club book this past winter. I tried. In fact, I am still trying to read it, a few sideways glances at a time. It is perhaps the least enjoyable book I have encountered this year. It was weird, which I normally do not mind (and, truth be told, tend to prefer).  It was tedious reading, scattered, unfocused storytelling.  It also put children in adult situations. Okay, let's not be coy: a pre-teen boy was having all the sex he could muster. I cannot tolerate gratuitous sexualization of children in books, and since the story ambled along in a scattershot way, I did not see the value in that portrayal of a child.  Finally, it was not the story I expected to read. I thought I was getting a love story that stretched across time.  Instead, I managed to get quite a ways into the story without a glimmer of such romance (but plen

Summer Reading Club: My Ambitious Summer Reading List

It's the summer reading season, which is when I make  unreasonably long lists of books to read.  It's like the rest of the year, but with a publicly announced ambition. (And warmer. Usually.) As a child, I loved the summer reading club — and found myself really disappointed to find no adult version. So, I did what most people do: I formed my own club and invited my friends, family and interested future reading buddies. (Let's be honest: if you see someone with a book, especially a book you yourself have read, are they really strangers?) Now, the summer has unofficially begun with Memorial Day, a solemn occasion to remember why we have the freedom and opportunity to exercise our rights and privileges as Americans. Please, take a moment to remember the true reason for the day. Review your bookshelves or nightstand to decide what to put on your summer reading list. Here is mind, in no particular order: Good Omens Divergent  Insurgent Allegiant As You

Review: Tell the Wolves I'm Home

I had no intention of reading Tell the Wolves I'm Home because the description on the jacket was so unappetizing. I am grateful my book club chose this novel — it's one of my favorite reads of the year so far. The book jacket makes the story sound like an AIDS story, which is totally inaccurate. Rather, it's a story of grief and loss; of growing up, growing apart, and growing together; of self-discovery and of the discovery of the world from a different perspective; of family; of tolerance. Carol Rifka Brunt captures this through the voice and experiences of an unlikely character: 14-year-old June, a girl at the stage in life where her self-awareness often shrinks to a microcosm of her own life. AIDS may be a factor in this book, but it is by no means a central character. In fact, the family and community treat the disease — and the people with it — with more compassion and honesty than I would have expected. What a welcome respite from the real world, in which HIV-A

Summer Reading Club: Go Wild!

Are you ready for some reading? Get your books in a row in time for the 2015 Summer Reading Club. There are lots of reasons to enjoy a summer read. You can use it to catch up on the good stuff you think is too Fluff 'n Trash™ for the rest of the year. Maybe it's time to focus on one genre, the one you never admit to in mixed company. Maybe you just want to walk into the library once a week and pick up the first book that looks good. For whatever reason, indulge. Read all summer, and enjoy yourself. And maybe win a book. That's right: if you are the book club member who reads the most books, you will win a new book. The reading period is from Memorial Day through the end of summer. This year, let's choose Friday, May 22 through Sunday, September 27. Send me your list any time you're ready. I'll publish mine by the end of May. Join the club: read all summer!