What I read last month
A Director Prepares: 7 Essays on Art & Theatre by Anne Bogart. Excellent craft book not only for theatre, but for writing revision.
Sylvia by Leonard Michales. Practicall perfect novel, can now see why everyone recommends it. Strong story, characters vividly drawn. A fav of Charlie Baxter's.
Osprey Island by Thisbe Nissen. Island setting, large cast of characters, roving POV eventually leads to loss of focus. Could have been much better book with more editing and tighter focus.
Mrs. Bridge by Evan Connell. Had read this many years ago, got much more out of it this time. Short chapters, each with a single focus. Odd format, but compelling.
Bartleby in Manhattan: Essays by Elizabeth Hardwick. Title essay is particularly good.
Illumination Night by Alice Hoffman. I listened to this in the car. Something not right about the ending, felt contrived, but Hoffman is certainly competent. I like her later works better than this.
Ruined by Reading, A Life in Books by Lynn Sharon Schwartz. Another re-read, good essays on why we read, by a fine writer.
Away by Amy Bloom. I heard her speak at Powells and she was gracious, even to the particularly tiresome questions. Excellent novel, with no hesitation, much authority, strong plot, lively characters. Set in the past, but uses present tense. She explained that this gave her so much more freedom to move to the future tense and the various past tenses for recent and distant past of characters.
So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell. Another rec by Charlie Baxter, and I also remember that Jonathan Dee recommended it. Masterful use of POV, amazing writing. I do like a slim, perfect novel. Such a pleasure to read this.
Labels: recent reading