Sunday, November 16, 2008

Empire Falls- Russo

After a spate of bad books that were so horrid I could not complete them I decided to seek out books that surely had to be good based on their label of Pulitzer Prize Winners, and this is what led me to this novel. This isn't the type of novel I typically read, its a character novel exploring the lives of the residents of a small town in Maine (Empire Falls), a town that was once big but has now fallen into decay and is practically forgotten. The town is run by the Whiting family who control everyone almost in a God-like manner, seeing and hearing everything and taking steps to mess with its residents or give them reprieve. The story focuses on a fry cook manager Miles Roby and his teenage daughter Tick. Through them we see his ex-wife who left him for another man who continues to hang out at Miles' restaurant, and other various characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was the type of book you have fun picking up and reading. The book was deep but also light, hilarious and tragic. It's probably among my favorite books now.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Four Agreements- Ruiz

A friend told me this was a good book so I checked it out. I think its message is important 1) Be impeccable with your word (i.e. use it for good and to say good and do good) 2) Dont make assumptions (we hurt ourselves with assumptions sometimes, just look at actions and what people say, clarify if you misunderstand) 3) Don't take things personally because its usually not about you and 4) Always do your best so you live without regret or guilt.

These are great things to live by but the book has a hard time really making these concrete principles. I wish it had been longer and not quite so repetitive.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Conversations with a Fat Girl- Palmer

This was a really sweet book. This is the story of two friends, one who remained overweight while the other went on to lose a great deal of weight and went to live what one thought was the 'perfect life'. Palmer does a great job describing the struggles of people struggling with their weight, but an even more awesome and surprising job about lifelong friendships that meet the end of their run. The dialogue was a bit maddeningly terrible, but her insights otherwise did a great job of balancing that out. I will certainly pick up another book of hers again.