You are currently browsing the daily archive for September 5, 2009.

After the Moment After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
My favorite characters in this teen-romance-from-a-male-perspective were the younger step-sister and her friend, and perhaps it says something about the chemistry of the main romance that I was more interested in their side-story than in the headline act. While Leigh’s voice was thoughtful and compelling, I didn’t really care what happened in his relationship with Maia, and the 2003 setting felt occasionally forced. I wanted the mentions of the beginning of the war in Iraq to add dimension to the story, and maybe they would for other readers, but Leigh’s regular comments on politics were unexpectedly off-putting to me. My reaction aside, I don’t feel like I’ve seen many other fictional responses to the beginning of the war from a teen’s perspective. There’s Sunrise Over Fallujah, of course, but that’s from a soldier’s perspective. Reading the two books side by side would be an interesting study in class and how that informs perspective.

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Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It’s not that I didn’t think the stories were excellent – the characters were crisp and individual and immediately grasped, the style didn’t call attention to itself, and many of the stories were wrenching in unexpected ways. They would be fascinating to study in a short story class, or discuss in a book group, but I can’t really say I enjoyed them. Meloy’s two novels – Liars and Saints A Novel and A Family Daughter A Novel – let you stay with the characters through ups and downs and generations, and there was a little more exuberance there that hooked me. I would recommend this collection to people who don’t mind a little darkness in their short stories and appreciate economical writing.

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It’s the weekend, and I finally have a quiet moment by myself.  Us introverts, we only enjoy those social situations when there’s downtime inbetween, and this week has been short on downtime.  All the busy activities are good, fun things that I wouldn’t want to miss – a swing dance class, lunch with friends, a baby shower, a bachelorette dinner, brunch, and the still-to-come rehearsal and wedding – but if I’d been thinking I would’ve taken a day off work just to be.

I realized I haven’t talked food much lately (or really done much cooking, either) which is a pity because I was recently graced with some fabulous additions to my kitchen – copies of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours and David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, as well as my very own ice cream maker.  I’ve already made a rich, rich vanilla and a frozen yogurt with melted chocolate swirled in, and now I need to venture into coconut and sorbets and an over-the-top chocolate.  I’ve made room in my freezer so the canister can be always frozen and ready.  Thanks, Bronwen!

I’ve made a few recipes from Baking, while visiting Kate, but I haven’t had a chance to do more than browse and drool over my copy (thanks, Kate!)  We made the coconut bundt cake and the world peace cookies, and I’m thinking I need some muffins or scones for breakfasts and snacks.  There hasn’t been enough baking in my life lately.

The only thing that rivals the list of what I want to make is the list of what I want to read – good grief!  I can’t even keep track of things.  Just this morning I noticed that Meg Rosoff has a new book out, and I flew into a panic of “how could I have missed that?”  As I desperately tried to put it on hold (it’s called The Bride’s Farewell, for anyone who’s feeling similarly panicked) I realized that in fact, I had already heard of it because I already had it on hold.  Whew.

Right now I’m rereading The Knife of Never Letting Go in preparation for reading the sequel, The Ask and the Answer. It’s already made me cry, and I’m only a few chapters in.  I know at precisely which point I will be a total mess – I anticipate it every time Manchee says, “Ow, Todd?”  Also, the sheep are still funny.

I’m sure there was something intelligent and insightful that I planned to say about something else I’ve been reading, but despite the delicious coffee I had with breakfast this morning, I have no idea what it was.

September 2009

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