Sunday, June 12, 2011


My long delay in posting isn't because I have not been reading, it is because the last two books I selected I set aside and had a few days debate about finishing or moving on. I have trouble in not finishing a book once begun, but a good friend reminded me there are so many books I want to read why waste time on ones I'm not enjoying. In the end, I abandoned both books, hoping that the third choice would be a charm.

Both of the books I dumped happened to be collections of short stories. The first of these was St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell. I loved the title and wanted to love the book. However, I found it merely a collection of chapter one's for books the author might have begun and couldn't come to completing. I did not find any of the three stories I read to actually be a story, they were each an introduction of characters and a lead in to a story and then they just stopped. I believe I am confirmed in my idea because Russell has just published a book titled Swamplandia! which is based on the first short story in this collection. I may never know whether her new release actually does begin with the first "story" in this collection because I won't read it.

The second book was Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, which I had thought to use as one of the challenge reads. This book seemed to be arranged much as Olive Kitteridge in that each story is connected to a common concept, in this case a 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Towers. The problems for me (in the four chapters I read) were that I didn't really like the characters in any of the stories, which made me indifferent to their plights and that I would have liked the tightrope act to have a bit more prominence (although I can't totally make that case because I failed to finish the book). I keep thinking there may be some redemption in this book and may give it another shot.

 The third book was a charm and will have a post of its own.

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