Sunday, September 18, 2011

Books Read, Late August / Early September

A round-up of mini-reviews for books I've read in the past few weeks but don't have the energy to write full posts for.

Saffy's Angel, by Hilary McKay
Library. YA. A book about family and belonging. Funny and written with a light touch but not without depth. By the end the author got me to care even about the characters I found the most frustrating (the parents). First in a series; I'd read another if it came my way, but not going to run out and get one on purpose. Age I'd let Z read it: 9 or 10, about (I think?) the protagonist's age.

Murder Must Advertise, by Dorothy Sayers
Own it. Murder mystery. A reread, so I was able to see this time around that Sayers plants the solution in the first quarter of the book and spends the rest of the time having Lord Peter be awesome. Sadly I think this lessens the book a little for me. On the plus side, I've watched all of Mad Men since the first time I read this, so was able to better appreciate the scenes in the advertising agency better, especially considering Sayers was a woman working in that field in the '20s. Crazy. Age I'd let Z read it: 13 or so. Maybe a little older considering some of the shenanigans (murder, extramarital affairs, drug use) some of the characters get up to.

A Civil Contract, by Georgette Heyer
Own it. Historical romance. A reread. This is my go-to book for whenever I feel down about being a housewife, and also the best example I've ever read of the guy getting the girl who'd be good for him even though she's not the girl he thinks he wants. Age I'd let Z read it: 15 or 16, maybe younger if she starts channeling Eponine before that.

The Silent Pool, by Patricia Wentworth
Own it. Murder mystery. Another Miss Silver; not my favorite, since the motive hangs on the murderer being a homicidal maniac, which is not really playing fair. Age I'd let Z read it: 18 or older. The book is really pretty tame but the guy who's supposed to be the hero is seriously creepy.

The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro
Library. Historical...memoir? I never know how to label this sort of vanilla fiction. Very intricately and deftly written story of a butler recalling his career. Not exactly a happy ending but not really the downer I'd heard it was either. Am putting more Ishiguro on my to-read list. Age I'd let Z read it: This book is refreshingly free of profanity, explicit sex and violence, so I think she could read it as young as 13, but it would probably bore her. I'll leave her to discover it on her own.