Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More Books

Just finished off a few more books:

1) Suite Francaise, by Irene Nemirovsky. (** 1/2)  The story behind the book is almost better than the book itself. Nemirovsky was a French Jew who wrote in the 1930's and into the 1940's before being shipped off to Auschwitz. The notes and manuscript for this book were only found recently and published.  It tells the story of the occupation of France from the perspective of a host of different families. The first half of the book is really engaging, as it connects the lives of these different people in random and coincidental ways as they all try to retain some normalcy.  Unfortunately, the second half of the book lags when it settles down on to the experience of primarily one woman and her slowly growing infatuation with the German officer billeted in her house (cue the Hallmark channel music here).

2) Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson. (****) Might be one of the most riveting books I've read in a long time. The story of the building and staging of the Chicago World's Fair is told alongside the story of H. H. Holmes, one of the first serial killers in American history.  Chilling detail on Holmes' activities, and a fascinating set of trivia and information on how the World's Fair changed Chicago itself along with many people who worked or went there.  Fun read, aside from the gruesome serial killing, of course.

1 comment:

Diane Vollrath said...

I read this a long while ago - Ela recommended it. It was incredible and like you said - riveting! And scary....