Monday, January 30, 2012

Kosovo, Unearthly, The Virginian

The Hemingway Book Club of KosovoThe Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo by Paula Huntley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An excellent first book for 2012. The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo is a gem. It brought back so many memories of teaching in Syria. The author does a good job of giving life and depth to her experiences in Kosovo without coming off as a privileged, entitled American - well done!

The Storyteller's Daughter: One Woman's Return to Her Lost HomelandThe Storyteller's Daughter: One Woman's Return to Her Lost Homeland by Saira Shah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very beautiful writing and an interesting little mini-memoir. I admit I was a little caught off guard by this book because I thought I was reading THIS The Storyteller's Daughter so it took me a few chapters to realize that I wasn't. Still, it was a happy mistake.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ever so slightly sloppy, but super fun to read! This book gets the honor of being the first one I read in its entirety on my new Kindle, and hoo boy was I ever glad to get out of having to tote this cover around in public.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
How have I never read this book before? It's a little bit The Count of Monte Cristo, a little bit A Pair of Blue Eyes, and a little bit Little House on the Prairie, with a dash of High Noon and (I'm going to say it) Twilight thrown in. It's not a perfect book - the pacing is uneven sometimes and while I liked the way the narrator elbowed himself into the story every few chapters, it wasn't always clear how he knew some things but not others. Is there such a thing as a semiscient narrator?

But it's a lovely member of that category of slow, thoughtful books that read like a love letter to their setting, in this case the American West. Maybe Minerva Teichert should illustrate some future reprinted edition.


Jill said...

I liked Hemmigway book club too

JosephJ said...

The Virginian has been on my list of Westerns to watch on Netflix for a while.

It seems there are many versions, though, with 1929, 1946, 1962-1971 TV Series, 2000. I know you're into comparing versions, so if you get into critiquing Western movies, let me know.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

The Virginian is one of my favorite novels so I've read it many times over. As a child / teenager I loved the 90-minute weekly series starring James Drury, but you would hardly recognize it as The Virginian in novel form, it is so loosely adapted. The most recent movie version (think it was a made for TV) with Bill Pullman (??) in the starring role is very good. It mostly stays with the plot of the book. The baddies draw Steve into their web and we all know how that ends--such a difficult scene in the movie.


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