Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Books Read


Kerry Greenwood, Cocaine Blues: a Phryne Fisher mystery (8/10)
Linda L. Richards, Death was the Other Woman (8/10)
various Akashic Noir short stories collections (about 6/10)
Denise Hamilton, ed., Los Angeles Noir
Jarret Keene & Todd James Pierce, eds., Las Vegas Noir
Peter Maravelis, ed., San Francisco Noir
Aurelien Masson, ed., Paris Noir
Neal Pollack, ed., Chicago Noir
Mustafa Ziyalan & Amy Spangler, eds., Istanbul Noir

Kerry Greenwood, Flying Too High: a Phryne Fisher mystery (7/10)




Kerry Greenwood, Murder on the Ballarat Train: a Phryne Fisher mystery (8/10)


Kerry Greenwood, Death at Victoria Dock: a Phryne Fisher mystery (6/10)
Kerry Greenwood, The Green Mill Murder: a Phryne Fisher mystery (6/10)
Julia Leigh, Disquiet (7/10)


Henry James, Daisy Miller (7/10)


Nevil Shute, A Town Like Alice (6/10)


F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and the Damned (9/10)




Charlotte Greig, A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy (9/10)
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Venus in Furs (8/10)




Lauren Groff, The Monsters of Templeton (7/10)

Cara Black, Murder in the Marais
Bernardine Evaristo, Blonde Roots (4/10)
Barry Werth, The Scarlet Professor: Newton Arvin: A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal (10/10)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Groff, Lauren - The Monsters of Templeton

Title: The Monsters of Templeton
Author: Lauren Groff
Genre: Lit Fic

Love/Hate?: Not hate.
Rating: 4/5
Did you finish?: Yes.
One-sentence summary: Spoiled gorgeous Willie returns to her small town to find herself.

Why did you get this book?: The cover and I really thought it was about monsters.
Do you like the cover?: The cover is gorgeous!
First line from book: The day I returned to Templeton steeped in disgrace, the fifty-foot corpse of a monster surfaced in Lake Glimmerglass.

Review: Even though the New York Times says that the narrator/heroine Willie Upton is "disarming and smart" and more interesting than "the elaborate events that surround her", I actually found the opposite to be true. Willie seemed spoiled and entitled and in dire need of a reality check; her mother, Vi, was maddening, and her best friend too perfect. It was like watching a rom com with the appropriately wacky supporting cast. In the end, it wasn't Willie that kept me reading, but her ancestors. They were interesting, complicated people. Lauren Groff is a short-story writer and the book feels it, at times; it reads like a series of vignettes loosely connected by a common theme -- Templeton -- rather than a novel, but in the end, I enjoyed it.