Three Book Reviews

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I didn’t mean to be a tease in my last post. What did I think of the books? In short, I think you should read all three book that I mentioned. If nothing else, so you can tell me how right or wrong I am.

The Mercury Fountain by Eliza Factor - my cousin's first novel!

The Mercury Fountain by Eliza Factor

Full disclosure: this is my cousin’s book, so it goes without saying that you should all rush right out and buy it!

The Mercury Fountain is about Owen, an idealist who wins a mercury mine in a card game in the early 1900s. On it, he builds his utopia, the Texas-Mexico border town of Pristina, where racial harmony and harmony with nature not only exist, but are the founding Principles.

While Owen is romantic, his wife is independent and looking to escape life in the desert. Their daughter is a mixture of both…a mixture that turns out to be volatile. The book follows the town’s inhabitants through the next 20 years as cities encroach and the price of mercury rises and falls…almost like a temperature gauge for the town itself. The writing is wonderful with great description and memorable characters. The book leans to the literary side…so, not a breezy beach read.

Making Waves by Tawna Fenske

Making Waves by Tawna Fenske

This, however, is almost literally a beach read; it’s a contemporary romance on the high seas. I picked this up because I read the author’s blog. And the book reads just like her blog…which is a good thing.

Juli is adrift in life. Her uncle’s dying wish is for her to scatter his ashes in the ocean. It just so happens that handsome Alex, canned employee turned revenge-getting pirate, is also in that same ocean. Their paths cross and hi-jinx and romance ensue.

Last year, I read the book of an author-blogger I followed and ended up not liking the book. While unintentional, I stopped reading the blog. No worry about that here. The book was funny and light. At one point, I got a little confused as to what was going on, but I was having fun, so I let is slide and figured it out along the way.

Little Children by Tom Perrotta

Little Children by Tom Perrotta

I started this book first and finished it last. I enjoyed the writing and liked following the characters (who weren’t always likable themselves), but there were times when I just had to walk away.

A housewife and a househusband begin an affair to escape the lives they don’t quite like or know what to do with. The housewife tries to fit into the suburban stereotype but hates every minute of it. While the househusband is expected to “man-up” and get a job, he’s the one that enjoys his domesticated life. Oh, and there’s a recently paroled pedophile in the neighborhood.

There were several points in the book where the tension was getting so high that, like a horror movie fan covering her eyes, I put the book down. And when I came back, the Big Bad never came. I liked the book, but felt the end fizzled.

 

So, have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Next on my non-research reading list: Tina Fey’s Bossypants and more Kate Atkinson!

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2 thoughts on “Three Book Reviews

  1. bethfinke

    Your account of your cousin’s book (congrats to her, btw) reminds me of my friend Sonny Brewer’s book from a few years ago, “The Poet of Tolstoy Park” about a man who starts a Utopian spot in Alabama. As for the second book, anything described as hijinks makes it a non-read for me. I did read “Little Children” and loved the character development in it, but in my book club I was the only one who liked it – the rest were unanimous that the book didn’t have any likable characters and was therefore not worth reading.

  2. Jackie

    How exciting about your cousin’s book! She’s created an ambitious plot and setting.

    I’ve seen the “Little Children” movie and felt similarly about it… tense, but little payoff. Sounds like I could take a pass on the book, based on your review.

    I’m picking up “Bossypants” from the library tonight — we’ll have to discuss!

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