Monthly Archives: December 2010

Teaser Tuesdays: Group Post

As part of a new weekly feature, The Page Turners are here to share a piece of what we’re currently reading. Anyone can participate! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title, page number & author, too, so that other readers can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“With a loud grunt, he flung the severed hand halfway across the library floor.  Then he reached into his wound and yanked at the spurting ulna and radial artery, pinching and twisting it closed as best he could.”

by Wally Lamb
-Shydel


“For here the past survives in the scent of a coffee bean, a person’s  history is captured in the shape of an ear, and those most precious memories are hidden in the safest place of all. In stories.”

– page 11 & 12, Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna

Malca


“Randolf stayed for ten days, returning home by bus shortly after a neighbor cornered him in the hallway, asking if he might be so kind as to enter his penis in a blind taste test. Veronica and I left three months later, headed up to Oregon, where we hoped to make a killing picking apples and pears.”
-page 130 Naked by David Sedaris
-Alex





“I roll over to check the clock on the milk crate doubling as a mightstand, nudging aside the tiny stack of business cards I garnered at the ‘job fair.’  Eleven-fifty-three. I inhale deeply, trying to slow my buzzing brain from replaying the phone calls I’ve put into every half-baked Remy-stained lead.
pg. 53 from Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
-Alise




What are you reading??

Book Review: “The Secret History

 

The book I chose to review today, The Secret History, by Donna Tartt  is actually not in my niche, but I got so caught up in it that I had to share it with you all.  The funny thing is that I almost gave up on the book about a chapter in, but I kept dutifully on.  It had a lot of obscure references to Greek and Latin language as well as history so at first I was daunted.

First of all, I am not a Greek or Latin scholar or a student of comparative literature. Nor did I attend a fancy New England Ivy League school. I didn’t understand the occasional lines of Greek, Latin, and French in this book, and I’m not an intellectual snob (Okay, maybe I am just a little bit). But these small details don’t detract from the thoroughly enjoyable experience of reading the Secret History. If you appreciate a well-written, well-told story that entertains, has good character development, an intriguing story, and reveals more than a little about human nature, you’re going to like this book. As if that weren’t enough, there’s also a liberal dose of contempt for the rich, and who doesn’t enjoy that?! For those who’ve studied Greek, Latin, French or the classics, the story will be even more rewarding.

Tartt uses Richard, the most accessible character, to tell the story with ease and authenticity. The six main characters (all in their early twenties) live in their own insular world at a small New England upper crust college, studying the classics with one solitary professor. There’s Henry, the leader and probably the one most likely to succeed as a true scholar; Francis, the skittish hypochondriac; Charles and Camilla, the twins; Bunny, the obnoxious and ill-fated one of the bunch; and Richard, the California kid from the most humble background of all. At first, Richard can’t believe his great luck to fall in with such a gilded clique, but as usual, things are not as they appear.

Soon, the outer world intrudes (they bring this upon themselves, of course) and things fall apart. It’s the telling of the unraveling that grips you as Tartt deftly controls how much to tell and when. I marveled at her lush descriptions that rival a poet’s, her skill at narrative and dialogue, and her most revealing descriptions of human mannerisms and behavior. She repeatedly builds intrigue and tension all the way to the end of the 500+ pages of the novel. This is no easy task, but she makes it look effortless.

Don’t be put off by the setting and character types in this book. You don’t have to be a literary snob to understand or enjoy the story. It’s worth the time to read the book, and if you’re an aspiring writer, there is much here to educate and marvel at. I highly recommend the The Secret History.