Saturday, December 08, 2007

Batting .500

I'm batting .500 because I have read two books this week - one a winner, one not so much...I have read several Ann Patchett books in the past and have enjoyed them, passed them on and even recommended them, but then I read Run. I did not like this one. I did not find the characters very warm or interesting and I felt that the story was predictable. I feel kind of bad not liking this book - I think she has just hit it out of the park for me before and this one...I just didn't enjoy it that much - kind of rushed through at the end simply to move on. And move on I did - to a much better read.


I truly enjoyed Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen...after a year or more of avoiding this title, I finally gave in - I have leaned away from this book simply because I hate clowns and by virtue - hate the circus. This book is all about the circus - don't be scared folks - it was a wonderful story. The setting is the Great Depression and the narrator is so innocent and likable. It is told from the perspective of Jacob, a promising young man whose life has fallen apart in the most tragic way. We watch and see how he he handles himself in the face of struggle and inexperience. The storyline flips back and forth between his present life as an elderly man in a nursing home feeling forgotten and confused to his robust youth in the most colorful setting. The author offers such rich description - I could taste the cotton candy and smell the hobo-like men who nworked the circus for peanuts - almost literally. It paints the circus biz as corrupt and criminal - but the characters - shady as they may be - are interesting. I found myself having strong feelings about some of them while rooting for Jacob.

This one is a keeper...meaning it will not make it's way to my swap pile for Paperback Swap. I just received A Three Dog Life today - if you like to read, go sign up, for just the cost of media mail shipping, you can get some "new" books - trade books, save some money. Genious.

Not so much...


Blogger Kirsten said...

I loved "Water For Elephants" too.

11:50 PM  
Blogger knittingma said...

I actually asked for "Water for Elephants" for Christmas. Glad you liked it, and now I hope I'll be enjoying it in January!

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Water for Elephants was one that I too had passed over for about a year because I didn't think I wanted to read about the circus. I was very much mistaken, it is a wonderful book.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Auntly H said...

After seeing Water for Elephants on a friend's shelf last month, I put it on my wishlist. I'm hoping to get it for Chritmas. If not, I'll work on shifting my reading speed back into high gear and get it from the library.

Oh, what I really wanted to say: I love how our lives keep intersecting!

12:23 PM  
Blogger Nell said...

I have Water for Elephants on my PBS wish list. I keep checking the numbers to see when I'm up for it. Can't wait!

12:40 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I love your posts on books, so informative, keep doing them!

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Ann K. said...

Loved Water For Elephants... It also sat on my shelf for the longest time before I finally chose it as my choice this Fall for my book club.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I am with you - not, repeat not a fan of clowns and circus. But, LOVED "Water For Elephants". Glad you enjoyed.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

Water for Elephants is marvelous. What a fabulous writer! She's from Chicago, I think, and she started her research for the book up in Baraboo, WI.

Did you ever read The Time Traveler's Wife? That was excellent (and another Midwestern book).

1:41 PM  
Blogger tiennieknits said...

I loved Water for Elephants!

9:31 PM  
Blogger Scoutj said...

I loved Water for Elephants too. I just finished Grotesque and felt kinda eh about it. I'm really liking The Woods I just started the other night. I don't usually pick books like this but a friend recommended it!

5:44 PM  
Blogger Jean said...

I was given Water For Elephants last Christmas. I think I finished it in two days, I was so engrossed. Brilliant book.

9:49 PM  

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