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Blindspot by Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore

Rating: 4/5 stars for good prose, intelligent plotting and relatibility. I took off 1 point because the clich├ęs used were sometimes trite and you know exactly where this book was going, but hey, that’s the nature of the beast with romance novels.

I forget how good it is to read for pleasure sometimes. Before I delve into the book itself, a couple of words first to describe how I feel after reading a well-written novel: I think it was in elementary school when I argued to a friend why books are awesome: “It’s like being transported into another world!” said I, the embodiment of dorkus maximus, with my glasses, braces, and full-time nerdiness on.

Reading is such a pleasure, and I still think that what I said then is true now: reading takes you to a whole other world where you’re lost imagining the lives of these people and thinking, “wow that is awesome, I wish I could experience that first-hand.” It is escapism, but it also exercises your mind to stretch beyond what is ordinary. Reading imparts and imbues in anyone who reads the book a sense of being other than themselves. And not just to escape but to elevate to a higher understanding than what you would be capable of without the book, because a book forces you to ruminate, and not to ruminate in a bad way (unless it’s a bad book or a depressing book) but rather to do it because you’re shown something other than what you would find by yourself.

It’s something new, but it’s all mental. It’s not like a new dish to try, or new friends to make, or new places to visit. It’s a new place and understanding of yourself.

Anyway, I digressed too much. So, back to the book.

It is a romance novel dressed prettily in colonial America and 18th century prose. It’s both hot and intelligent.

Continue reading

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The House on Fortune Street by Margot Livesey

Rating: 2/5 stars for the solid writing, but somehow I couldn’t relate.

I just finished reading this book by Margot Livesey called The House on Fortune Street. What a depressing book. It had good prose, very readable but the subject at hand…so awful.

It tells the story of four people, each of whom had done a terrible thing and were dealing with what happens afterward. It talks about mendacity (a word I picked up from this book), euthanasia, infidelity, and pedophilia. What a sad bunch of words.

I don’t like it. The writing is good but what a downer of a book. I didn’t relate to any of these people and I did not feel anything for them, except for one character who suffered the most. Though I can’t believe her reasoning: why did she do what she did? I didn’t buy it. It’s true that all kinds of things happen to all kinds of people but I couldn’t put myself in her shoes. Not the fault of the author. I just couldn’t relate. There are rave reviews on Amazon (here) so that might put things into perspective if you’re trying to decide whether to read this.