by Antonya Nelson

It took a force of will to get through the first 45 or so pages of this book but once I did I was pleasantly surprised with the depth and breadth of character that Nelson was able to portray.  Does that cancel out that I had to read the jacket inset to figure out what was going on?  Hmm, still pondering on that one.  Either way, I really like the way she writes... after that initial hump.  I only wish she had hooked me in better.  I wanted to sink into this one - I mean, who wouldn't?  The title is pretty catchy.  But, when it comes down to the end, I enjoyed her tale and was glad it didn't veer off onto the many paths that it could have.  Kept me wondering what was up her sleeve.  Nice.


The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

I didn't know anything about this book except that two book groups I follow had it on their list.  I picked it up and got hooked pretty quick.  It is a fairly quick read and fast paced.  The young-adult status would have kept me away if I had researched it enough but, even so, I am glad to have read it.  I like speculative fiction.  I don't plan to read book 2 or 3 though. 


The Girl I Left Behind

by Judith Nies

I am seriously surprised how much I like this book.  It took a little while to get into it because Nies was doing some name dropping early on and I didn't want to think to put the names together.  But now, a quarter of the way in, I am hooked.  A really interesting account of Americans, American history, the 60's, womanhood, business, culture, politics, you name it. 


by Chuck Palahniuk

This book is a little crazy, as anyone who has read Palahniuk's stuff might already be prepared for.  I was warned but didn't exactly know what to expect.  I have to say my favorite chapter (which all could be seen as vignettes but also tell a round-about story) was the rape one.  If you read the book you'll know which I am talking about.  All in all, interesting premise with equally interesting characters, albeit few.

...and no, I won't be reading into it that my oldest son got me this book for x-mas. 


Self Made Man

by Norah Vincent

First book in a loooooong while ~ with good reason, I guess!  New baby & a cross country move...  I found myself desperate for the connection I had to my little library back in NY and the feeling is just different here in a large community, beachside, in San Diego so I joined a book group.  A femminist book group - ha!  I have yet to make it to a meeting but no matter, my opportunity hopefully will come this week.  And, without further babble, here's my short conclusion on this latest title.

I don't like to read too much about a book before I dive in for fear of not assessing the material without preconceived knowledge but I did get stumped by this one because of my thoughts based on picture & title.  Basically, dyke feels the world gives privileges to men and denigrates women so, after being ridiculed by her older brother and his friends for years about being more male than female she decides to try and pass as "Ned" and enter into the world of man.  Fine enough but her way of entering is by spending time in places that arguably should stay for men only.  Sex clubs, dating, healing retreats, bowling league, a monastery... oh yes, she as he was there.  Lots of interesting ideas were approached but I had to get over her need to expose the men friends she met (although all names are changed).  And, even worse, when she outed herself, which she did to some in the beginning, she felt compelled to rip off her shirt and show her bound breasts.  Hmmm.  As I said, lots to ponder.  I hope for a lively book group meeting on Monday!