01 May 2011

Last Month in Review: April 2011

1) Faith by Jennifer Haigh.  Review here.

2) The Illumination by Kenneth Brockmeier.  Review here.

3) The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak. Review here.

4) Catfish Alley by Lynne Bryant.  Review here

5) Foreign Correspondence by Geraldine Brooks.  Brooks grew up in Australia and had several penpals around the world.  Years later when cleaning out her father's attic, she discovered that he had kept all of her childhood correspondence with them.  As an adult she seeks out those penpals again.  This memoir combines childhood reminiscences with stories of how she tracked down her penpals in Israel, France, and Australia.  Frankly, I expected better from this Pulitizer Prize-winning author.  It was okay but I wouldn't recommend that you rush out to it. 

6 &7) The Other Side of Darkness and Survivals & Remembrances by Abby (fanfiction).  These are some of my favorite novel-length fanfictions, starring grown-up Hermione and Severus.  Some lemony bits to be sure, but overall they're just very well written stories. www.witchfics.org

8) The Ape House by Sara Gruen (audio). Review here.

9) The World as We Know It by Joseph Monninger.  Review forthcoming.

10) Swim Back to Me by Ann Packer (short stories).  These ranged from mediocre to very fine.  I especially responded to the story of the grieving mother who finds solace in her teenage son's CD collection after he dies to save a young boy from a train. I probably will not review this one.

11)  The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World, One Corection [sic] at a Time by Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson.  The grammar police with wanderlust?  What's not to love about a book like this?  Apparently the writing.  It's so self-consciously earnest that I could barely bring myself to finish it.  If it had been longer, or if I weren't driven to add another nonfiction book to my reading this month, I never would have made myself finish it. 

12) A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz.  Half memoir, half book of essays with a smidge of biography thrown in for good measure, each chapter was devoted to one Jane Austen novel.  A little repetitive, a little too self-congratulatory, but overall mostly harmless enjoyable.  


  1. Wow, you had a pretty successful reading month...by my standards anyways :) Just out of curiosity, how do you decide which books you review and which ones you don't?

  2. lots of reading done. so which was your favourite?

  3. Hi! Thanks so much for following A Camp Host's Meanderings. Glad to have you along over on that blog. Have you read Jennifer Lauck's latest book? Would love to see your review if you have. Take care Emily!

  4. Thanks for the comments, y'all!

    Jenna, mostly I prefer to positive reviews, though mostly I just have to *want* to review the book in order to put the effort into it. Sometimes I have to review a book in order to figure what I really thought of it, but there has to be something compelling enough about a book for me to do that--good compelling or bad compelling.

    Monica, of the "real" books, The Illumination and Faith tie as my favorites. They were both well written and done with interesting (well, to me anyway) conceits.

    Levonne, I don't know who Jennifer Lauck is, but I'll have to check her out.


Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)