I just realized that back in December I mentioned a couple of books that I had read, but I never wrote up my "book reports." First we have:
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. This was an excellent book that did an incredible job of taking you to a different time and place. McCullers is an excellent storyteller, bringing various characters to life and involving you in the raw and unadorned aspects of their day to day life. I was caught up in the reasons for each character's actions. It is a book that will not only open your eyes to a part of American history, but also make you think about enduring human ideas an emotions. A timeless classic.
Next up is The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. Now, I had seen the movie several years ago and it was somewhat disturbing, but perhaps not as disturbing as the book. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed reading it and flew through it quite quickly. However, it is the story of a bunch of sister's committing suicide, so if you are a little quesy about that kind of thing, this dark novel may not be for you. Eugenides has a powerful writing style which you can see developing in this, his first novel.
I have also read Middlesex: A Novel, his most recent (and perhaps only other?) work and found it to be excellent. Heck, not just me -- he won the Pulitizer Prize for fiction for his second novel! It's about a hermaphrodite (yep, he's not shying away from the contraversial topics once again) who discovers his true self. I couldn't put this book down! While Eugenides gives you a deep understanding of the main character, he also creates an epic feel -- covering three generations of the main characters Greek-American family. This is really a must read.
Right now I am about 2/3 of the way through The Plot Against America: A Novel by Philip Roth. Very good book so far, I'll write my official "book report" after I finish it!