Rachel D. (rdj) - Reviews

1 to 6 of 6
Angle of Repose (Contemporary American Fiction)
Angle of Repose (Contemporary American Fiction)
Author: Wallace Stegner
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 142
Review Date: 10/17/2008
Helpful Score: 5


Read this book. Stunningly beautiful writing, vivid imagery and characters you can't help but invest in. Wallace Stegner won the Pulitzer for this book.

I had been hearing high recommendations for Angle of repose for more than a year before I finally decided to read it. What held me back? The misconception that Wallace Stegner, being a contemporary writer that loved writing about the the West, wrote 'Westerns'. I love many genres, but Westerns do not hold my interest so I do not choose to read them.

But I couldn't have been more misinformed. Wallace Stegner loves to place his stories in the West that he grew up in, but they are most definitely not 'Westerns' of the Cowboy/Indian/Wild West variety. You will be hard-pressed to find a more hauntingly eloquent writer, more universal themes, and more vividly life-like characters.


The Birth of Venus
The Birth of Venus
Author: Sarah Dunant
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 753
Review Date: 9/7/2008
Helpful Score: 2


This book was a bit better than I thought it might be. Enjoyable, light read, but not something that stays with you once it's done.
I recommend it for those lazy summer days when you want an easy, entertaining read that does not challenge.


Disgrace
Disgrace
Author: J. M. Coetzee
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 184
Review Date: 9/7/2008
Helpful Score: 6


I picked up this book on the recommendation of a well-read friend. It did not disappoint.
The subject matter of this book is not at all easy to digest, and in another author's less capable hands it would merely be an uncomfortable shock to the reader. Coetzee's superb mastery of the written word enables you to become an unseen participant in a world that is as intriguing as it is disturbing. I was riveted by the complicated individuals that populate this book, the equally complicated and sometimes brutal environment they live in, and found myself alternately rooting for or scolding them for the decisions they made. Any writer that can affect me so with their characters is a master. But more than that, the world he creates is so real I found myself wondering what I would do, what decisions I would make... truly broadening and enlightening.

This is the first book that I have read by Coetzee and intend to seek out more of his work.


No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 168
Review Date: 9/7/2008
Helpful Score: 6


I saw the movie first, but even that prior knowledge did not prepare me for the impact of the writing. Spectacular and so totally original. Surprisingly, the movie stays very true to the book (deftly editing for length, of course).

The best part about reading the book, for me, was the narration by the sheriff. It is a person speaking to you, not a character in a book, with all of the 'folksy' turns of phrase and a simple, authentic point of view that makes me want to sit, have a cup of coffee and talk for hours. Thoroughly enjoyable read.


On Beauty
On Beauty
Author: Zadie Smith
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 9/7/2008


I became hooked on Zadie Smith with her first book, 'White Teeth'.
None of her subsequent books has bowled me over, but this one does have some evidence of her amazing ability to bring to life rich, vibrant characters. It is an enjoyable read, and one that does make you reflect upon life, love and how things are never as they seem to appear.


The Undomestic Goddess
The Undomestic Goddess
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 733
Review Date: 10/17/2008
Helpful Score: 6


Sophie Kinsella's books have been my guilty pleasure for years now. Whenever you want to read something light-hearted, fun, and engaging enough that you don't want to put it down, pick up one of her books. You're guaranteed to have a great time following the antics and mis-adventures of her latest heroine.


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