Monthly Archives: September 2009

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

I did it again.  I swore I wouldn’t, but I did it anyway.

I picked up another book (and not exactly a light read, either) before I’d finished my self-imposed rewrites on my own novel.  The trouble with this is once I get started on a book, I rarely put it down for anything other than the basics…like eating or sleeping or remembering, for instance, that I have children and a husband.

In my defense, it wasn’t my plan.  When I walked in the bookstore that afternoon, I was only browsing.  Innocent enough.  Then I saw it.  The paperback version of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.  This book has long been on my Reading ListAnd it’s an Oprah Book Club book, so, I figure I have to give it a whirl.  But, the 500-plus page paperback was even more daunting when it was only available in hardcover.  So I’d waited.

And waited.

Which only made it even more inevitable, that at the exact moment I saw it in paperback while perusing the aisles of the bookstore, I was already bound to it.  The decision was made on the spot.  And everything else in my life would be put on hold.

I feel the need to issue a bit of advice, if not a mild warning here.  If you’re into instant gratification, fast-paced-plot reading, then The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is not for you.

It’s a “meat and potatoes” kind of book.  One that you curl up with on rainy days or in the dead of winter.  It’s very well written but very verbose, and not necessarily in a bad way.  But also not everyone’s cup of tea.  I happen to enjoy loquaciously written novels, so it was right up my alley.

The story was heartrending, the main character, very likable.  And if you’re a dog person, all the better.  The four-legged characters in this book were brought to life wonderfully, over and over again, by Mr. Wroblewski.  Although, after finishing the book last night, I have to say, I was not pleased, and very surprised, with the ending.  I don’t want to give anything away here, so I won’t go into specifics, but suffice to say, I think the story would have been better served had the turn of events at the end played out slightly differently.

All in all, I’d recommend The Story of Edgar Sawtelle to a select group of readers.

3 Stars

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Julie and Julia Book Review

Although, I’ve read many different genres, I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to shy away from memoirs.  I have found a few that I enjoy, but I’ve read an equal amount, if not more, that I didn’t really care for much at all.  Ironically, some of those least favorites were touted by critics as “one of the best memoirs ever”.  Or some similar hype.

It wasn’t until I saw the previews for the movie Julie and Julia, that I knew I had to read the book.  Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell will go down as one of my favorite memoirs and I’d definitely recommend it for those looking for some funny, light-hearted reading.  Although, her writing style carries a somewhat more sophisticated tone than my recent picks (and I willingly admit to finally giving up and “skipping over” the French food words), I still thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I’ll admit I was never really even a fan of the late Julia Child, either (may she rest in peace).  But I didn’t have to be to enjoy this book.

It’s a book for those of us who enjoy cooking, or wish they did.  Anyone who’s laughed at their own culinary disasters or managed to make a 7-course dinner party look effortless.  For those who have ever been stuck in a dead end job and dreamt there could be something more to life…or for those who are still stuck and still dreaming.

Definitely a must read.  3.5 stars

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