Saturday, May 29, 2010

Reading Update

Book #23 was The Willoughbys, by Lois Lowry, which I read to my son. The book is a parody of "old-fashioned" children's stories, where orphans go through trials and tribulations and come out triumphant at the end. While I found the book funny (much of it made my son laugh out loud), I never quite forgave the earthquake played for laughs.

Book #24 was Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge. More a series of short stories than a novel, the book presents vignettes from various lives that are interconnected because of location. Olive Kitteridge appears in almost every story. The stories are sad and lonely.
Harmon felt a rush of anxiety as she left. Some skin that had stood between himself and the world seemed to have been ripped away, and everything was close, and frightening. Bessie Davis had always talked on, but now he saw her loneliness as a lesion on her face.

And from another story:
Sometimes, like now, Olive had a sense of just how desperately hard every person in the world was working to get what they needed. For most, it was a sense of safety, in the sea of terror that life increasingly became.

Book #25 was also about loneliness, but in a much more whimsical and less bleak way. It was Home Safe, by Elizabeth Berg, about a widow learning to live without her husband.

Here's today's Saturday Review of Books.

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