I read some great books in 2015. There were also some that disappointed me. The reviews for the disappointing ones were originally listed in my Reading in 2015 post, but I thought that the negativity dragged the post down. Still, I want to remember what these books were like, so now I’m putting the reviews into this separate post.
- The Silver Pencil by Alice Dalgliesh, B+. This book had been so tempting, but when I finally read it, it wasn’t wonderfully nostalgic as expected but rather dated. The only remarkable thing was that the author mentioned several times that the children of the lower classes were sewn up in their clothes for the winter. That is, the children would not change their clothes or bathe for the entire season. I don’t know if this was literally true, or a myth, or just a facetious expression used by the upper/middle classes of that time (early 20th century). I found two references to this supposed practice on Google. Both were boards on which similarly stymied readers had asked for more information. The answers were not definitive enough that I can be sure. But I hope that the Universe will soon send me an answer in some unexpected way, like a random reference in another book or a television show, as it so often does in cases like this.
- Born Standing Up by Steve Martin, B. Steve Martin is a funny guy, but this book was a drag.
- Catwings by Ursula Le Guin, B. Some people rave about this book and its sequels. I thought it was dull and so short as to be forgettable.
- Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris, C+. David Sedaris is also a funny guy, so I had high hopes for this book. I must have tried to wipe memory of it from my mind, though, because I don’t recall much about it except that I thought it was rarely funny and sometimes offensive.
- A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn, B-. This book broke my reading mojo. It started well, but then got completely confused about what kind of book it wanted to be. It was such a disappointment that I hardly felt like reading anything afterward.
P.S. I found more about The Silver Pen in my journal. I wrote, “I just finished The Silver Pen by Alice Dalgliesh earlier tonight. I’m not sure how to grade it. The main character is likeable enough, if not particularly memorable. The story is semi-autobiographical, so it’s not a tightly woven and deliberately paced narrative, but more of a “story of a life.” There are four countries in which the main character lived, so there was no chance to really fall in love with any of the locations. A pity, since they included Trinidad, England, seaside Canada, and several places in the U.S. The ending is also rather abrupt.”