Autobiography of Us by Aria Beth Sloss

Autobiography of Us by Aria Beth Sloss – a classic case of me choosing a book for its cover. And how can you blame me? A pixilated photograph of sunbathing in the sixties, pops of turquoise AND testimonials from authors including Margot Livesey and Maggie Shipstead – irresistible!

Set in Pasadena, California in the fifties and sixties and told from the perspective of studious Rebecca Madden and her beautiful, reckless friend Alex, the story charts the girls’ dreams for lives beyond their mothers’ narrow expectations. The backdrop – women’s lib, the Vietnam War, the American cultural revolution. The blurb includes the enticing tidbit – “…one sweltering evening the summer before their last year of college…. a single act of betrayal changes everything.”

I wanted to like Autobiography of Us in the same way as I did Lisa Klaussman’s Tigers in Red Weather – for all its languid summer days, shared confidences and simmering resentments, however, it fell short. Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – There’s a new book out by…

buy all the books meme

When John Irving released In One Person last year it received mixed advance reviews. I read them all but they didn’t stop me from pouncing on In One Person as soon as I was able. And I didn’t really like it which was disappointing because I’d waited for it for so long. But it didn’t matter because Irving is without question my favourite contemporary author and, if he suddenly began publishing his books on the back of boxes of Cheerios, then I’d be an overnight Cheerios eater.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is ‘Authors On My Auto-Buy List’. It’s not just Irving –

1. John Irving – goes without saying! Continue reading

Top Ten Books I Read In 2012

top-ten-best-books-2012

Recently, a member of my book group called me a ‘book pusher’. I feigned disbelief – “I don’t push books onto people!” I exclaimed. But I do. I do it all the time. Once I’ve read a really good book, I want everyone around me to share the joy.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I Read in 2012. Or, in other words, the Top Ten Books I’ve Been Pushing on People This Year.

1. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach – my favourite book for the year.

2. Of a Boy by Sonya Hartnett – this book will never leave me.

3. The Forrests by Emily Perkins – unusual and very special.

4. Tigers in Red Weather by Lisa Klaussman – sublime… Where’s the gin? Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012

top-ten-new-to-me-authors

Well, finally a list that can’t possibly contain any John Irving (but see what I did there, slipped the name in… Are you thinking about Owen Meany now?!).

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012.

1. Chad Harbach – The Art of Fielding took Harbach ten years to write. I sincerely hope we don’t have to wait a decade for his next book.

2. Emily Perkins – New Zealand born Perkins thrilled me with her exquisite saga, The Forrests.

3. Laura Dave – for sharp chick-lit. Continue reading