Saturday, September 01, 2007

Reading: A TBR Update

It's been a while since I've talked about my TBR Challenge progress, so I thought I'd give an update.

TBR #7 was Digging to America, by Anne Tyler. I really enjoyed this book. There wasn't a lot of action, but the tensions of culture-clashes and assimilation were enough to keep me turning the pages. A very character-driven book, the story followed three generations of two families as they attempted to create an American story of their own. I found the different race- and culture-perspectives of each generation were well-written. The miscommunications and underlying tension caused by these perspectives were amusing, saddening and angering all at once. The obvious message of this story is that "Digging to America" isn't as easy as it may seem. And finding a place for yourself and your traditions once you get here is even more difficult.

TBR #8 was Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri. I liked it. A lot. Reading a short story collection was a good change of pace from the novels I'd been reading. I like to throw in some variety every now and then. I can understand why this collection was a Pulitzer Prize winner. The stories were execellent studies of the human experience, particularly that of immigrants, but also that of married couples (young and old), families torn apart by war, women searching for belonging and purpose, men learning to be gentle and kind. If you like stories about other cultures, you'll like this book. If you like stories about people, you'll like this book. I think it has something for most people who enjoy character driven stories about the struggles and successes that life often tosses our way.

And then, since I got through Interpreter so quickly, I decided to read Anne Lamott's Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith. I want to BE Anne Lamott. If I could chose any person to be my mentor, she'd be the one. I admire her sense of humor, her vulnerability, her ability to be honest in a way that most people aren't, her bare-naked spirituality and willingness to admit she isn't perfect. And man oh man do I want to write like her. So I devour everything she writes in the hopes that some of her talent and humor will seep into me. A writer can dream...

1 comment:

Shelby said...

great reviews!

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