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Showing posts from February, 2010

Cannonball Read 2 #24: Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

I loaned this book to a friend, who read about half of it and then returned it saying, "Is nothing supposed to happen?" It's true that it's not a particularly exciting book--there are no explosions, hurricanes, or robot invasions. However, I found the story of Ruth Anne "Bone" Boatwright--a girl born into tough circumstances in a rough-and-tumble "white trash" family in South Carolina--to be utterly riveting.

The Boatwright clan is described brilliantly, and Bone's numerous aunts and uncles (as well as her mama, the youngest of the group) all take on a brightly-colored life of their own. Bone's coming of age story, her attempts to both fit in to her family and to perhaps find a way to rise above it, are excellent. Although it's not a happy story, as life never seems to cut Bone a break, it does a great job of illustrating her careful navigation of family dynamics. Bone has to discover her place, take her knocks, and "become a Boatw…

Cannonball Read 2 #23: The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie

Another Agatha Christie murder mystery. This time, the plucky female heroine is out to discover who murdered her fiance's estranged uncle and pinned the crime on the aforementioned fiance. The plot has many twists and turns, though this one seemed slightly more far-fetched some of the previous books I've read. In general it was a serviceable little mystery but nothing to cross the street for.

A Letter to An Author (Cannonball Read 2 #22 - Song of Susannah by Stephen King)

Dear Stephen,

I have been a huge fan of your work for many years (not your "number one fan"...ha ha...but a fan, nonetheless.) I've read nearly all of your books, and I've enjoyed the majority of them. In fact, IT is probably my favorite book ever, and I think I've read it upwards of twenty times. Many of your other books have also warranted being read multiple times. Please don't think I'm just some hater who doesn't know what she's talking about.

I have always defended your work. When people have complained about your over-verbosity, I have countered by pointing out your excellent descriptions. When people have noted your tendency toward cliche, I have countered with your gripping characters. I have defended you against charges of repetition, overindulgence, and lack of editing. I've argued against those who said you had lost it after you got run over. I have even defended you regarding your near total inability to properly end a story (A gi…