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Month in review

Reviews:
The Altman Code by Gayle Lynds
The Art World Dream by Eric Rudd
The Autobiography of Malcolm X retold by Alex Haley
Bare by Elisabeth Eaves
Being Committed by Anna Maxted
Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly
A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd
Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K Dick
Giorgio by Anita Benarde
GIS: Socioeconimic Applications by David Martin
Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood
Headache Relief for Women by Alan M. Rapoport and Fred D. Sheftell
Housekeeping by Marilynn Robinson
In the Beginning... Was the Command Line by Neal Stephenson
The Last Camel Died at Noon by Elizabeth Peters
The Mother's Recompense by Edith Wharton
Mario and the Magician by Thomas Mann
Mrs. P's Journey by Sarah Hartley
Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Puckoon by Spike Milligan
Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
Sacred Flowers by Roni Jay
Sacred Symbols: Ancient Egypt by Thames & Hudson
Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
Spooky California by S. E. Schlosser
Trapped in Death Cave by Bill Wallace
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
Ward No. Six by Anton Chekov

Miscellaneous
Baby Teeth and Eating
Dinner with Sean
Eight Facts About Me
Eight Months Old
Happy Monkey's Day
Harriet at 8 1/2 Months
Heat Wave
Ian's Teeth
Maxine Runs Cold
Maxine Runs Hot
New Jeans
New Postal Rates
No Swimming and Other Stuff
Swimming
Swimming Again
Toast
The Wooden Spoon

Vacation
Traffic
South Pasadena

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8


Comments for Housekeeping

HousekeepingHousekeeping: 05/14/07

Housekeeping is the first new book I've bought on a complete whim. It's also one of the best books I've read in 2007 so far. I have to admit that I chose it for two reasons: the gorgeous photograph of a train bridge and its length (only 224 pages).

While Ruth is the narrator and the story centers around the misfortunes of her family, the true protagonist is Fingerbone, a place somewhere near Seattle but in the cold, remote regions of the mountains. The temperamental lake and the severe winters are constant challenges to the residents of Fingerbone. The lake is constantly claiming victims, including an entire train and later most of the houses.

It is against this hard wilderness and ever present threat of damp and mold that Ruth tells her story of her family and how it dwindled down to just Aunt Sylvie, sister Lucille and herself. It is also the story of the family house and how it weathers its many different owners and falls into disrepair under Aunt Sylvie's watch.

Aunt Sylvie is by far the most interesting and best realized character in the novel. The responsibility of raising and caring for Ruth and Lucille falls on her shoulders when her sisters flee back to Seattle to live in the luxury of their basement hotel room. Ruth's descriptions of how the house changes after Sylvie's arrival beautifully and subtlety describes just how overwhelmed Sylvie is by the responsibility of caring for a house and two young children. And yet it's also clear that in her own way, Sylvie does love the children.

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Comment #1: Tuesday, May, 15, 2007 at 08:14:56

Dew

This book is on my too-be-read shelf, but I haven't gotten to it yet. Your review makes me want to get to it sooner, rather than later."



Comment #2: Tuesday, May, 15, 2007 at 08:16:13

Pussreboots

Thank you for the comment. I hope you enjoy the book!"



Comment #3: Tuesday, May, 15, 2007 at 08:14:56

sh1mm3r

I enjoyed this book too, which surprised me. I usually get very frustrated with what I would call "atmospheric" books, but she is just an amazing writer.

I haven't yet attempted Gilead, which is a book she received several awards for, but it is on my to-read list."



Comment #4: Tuesday, May, 15, 2007 at 08:17:13

Pussreboots

To be honest, I hadn't heard of Marilynne Robinson until last month when I randomly picked her book off the shelf at the bookstore. Lastnight while looking her up at the Library of Congress, I saw that she has other books. I will be keeping her other books in mind for things to read!"