Friday, May 3, 2013

Inner Beauty Friday - Book Club!


Once again it is Friday and time for Book Club - so I am linking up with Heather from Blonde...Undercover Blonde

I read two books this week and they both were filled with Interesting bits of American history.
The first was "The Obituary Writer" by Ann Hood

Here is the synopsis from "On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, a young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless but secure marriage or to follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier, in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. By telling the stories of the dead, Vivien not only helps others cope with their grief but also begins to understand the devastation of her own terrible loss. The surprising connection between these two women will change Claire s life in unexpected and extraordinary ways."

My thoughts - It's pretty predictable but I really enjoyed the descriptions of daily life in the 60's and then San Francisco in the early 1900's.  I didn't realize that the influenza epidemic and the great San Francisco earthquake took place so close together.  It was a pretty quick read and a good book if you don't want to think to hard, but don't want to go as "light" as chick lit :)

The second book was "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane"  by Katherine Howe.
Here is the description from "Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, she can't refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest--to find out who this woman was and to unearth a rare artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge.
As the pieces of Deliverance's harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem's dark past then she could have ever imagined."

My thoughts: The way the book starts you think it's going to be a little more "academic" than it turns out to be.  Unfortunately, the story is stretched beyond the breaking point into silliness.  For a Harvard PhD candidate she's really unobservant.  And though the author writes at the end how she researched the 1690's its like she didn't even live in the 1990's because her descriptions of the time seem a little off.  It's still an interesting take on the Salem witch trials and what "witchcraft" was to the Puritan mind. 

Once again I want to remind you I am a total book snob and I have read A LOT of books so I don't swoon over every book I read.  The best books I have read in the last 2 years have been, Gone Girl, The Hunger Games, and The Gargoyle.  I think mostly because they are REALLY unique premises. 

Until next week!


  1. The Obituary Writer sounds like a nice, easy read. I will add it to my list.
    Thanks for posting!

  2. Those both sound interesting but the second one would bug the heck out of me. I hate it when writers don't really know the time period they're writing about!