Friday, November 26, 2010

Thinner Than Thou by Kit Reed

  Health clubs replace houses of worship in this satire on our country's obsession with being thin and beautiful. This story centers around Annie Abercrombie, a teenage girl with an eating disorder. When her "secret" is discovered, her parents send her away with the Dedicated Sisters, who claim that their "cure" is 100% effective. Obviously, that's not true. And Thinner Than Thou just get darker and darker from there.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The False Friend by Myla Goldberg

Okay, here's the simple setup: two eleven-year-old girls, best friends yet fierce rivals, go into the woods. Only one comes out...
However, this novel is not simple at all. 20 years later, Celia Durst decides it's time to tell the truth about what really happened all those years ago. That is not as easy as it seems. There are many obstacles and twists and turns along the way as The False Friend slowly builds to the climax.


Monday, November 15, 2010

The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

This literary graphic novel by the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife is the first volume of a larger series called The Library.  The novel follows the story of Alexandra who discovers a bookmobile on a deserted Chicago street late one night.  The bookmobile contains every book she’s ever read and Alexandra obsessively devotes the next several years to reading and to searching for the mysterious bookmobile.  The true gem of this novel is Niffengger’s pen and ink drawings which beautifully evoke Alexandra’s eerie and solitary world.  In my opinion, the ending was a little more somber than I would have liked, but Niffenegger tells a gripping story that both celebrates the power of the written word and warns against living our lives entirely through books.  This is a short, charming read for book-lovers.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

  This dystopian novel, Never Let Me Go, is deceptively simple. The narrator is Kathy H., a 31-year-old "carer". She is remembering her life at Hailsham, a private school in the English countryside, where nothing is as it seems. As she reminisces about her friends Tommy & Ruth, a horrible truth is slowly revealed.

A good read-alike for this excellent novel is "The Unit" by Ninni Holmqvist.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What Good Is God? by Philip Yancey

Evangelical writer Yancey explores the topic of the church's relevance in modern society.  The book is divided into ten parts, each focusing on conditions in a place Yancey visited, followed by the text of a speech he gave.  Whether it's the compassionate response to the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting, its need to move out of its bubble and transform the world around it, its ministry to recovering alcoholics and prostitutes, its extension of forgiveness to Afrikaners or its work in communist China, the church is actively working to spread the love of God to everyone in need.  Readers will finish the book encouraged about the condition of Christianity today.

What Good Is God? by Philip Yancey