So what have I finished? I reread Ender's Game last week--excellent stuff. Orson Scott Card may be a bigot and a crackpot fundamentalist and may have a really hard time figuring out how to end a book, but darn if he isn't a gifted storyteller. Like his super-genius characters, the secret to his gift is great empathy. You know the character as he knows himself, and therefore can love and despise him all at once.
Our Man in Panama, by Graham Greene (or was it The Tailor of Havana? No, I remember--Our Man in Havana, an Entertainment. But I've said too much already). Seriously, John Le Carre totally stole from Green, but Greene is better. Well, I've never read Le Carre....but Greene is so funny! I like the subtitle, too: An Entertainment. A comedy of errors, really.
My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult. The romatic subplot was thin (you really need a better reason than that to keep people apart for 15 years), and the reader of Julia's character being horrible didn't help. (You know how on SNL you can tell they're reading off cue cards? Like that, only in audiobook form. LONG pauses at weird moments.) The core conflict and story, the family's story, were good. There were parts where I wanted more meat, but I will say formally that I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend it.
Am I going to get into trouble if I admit that I just finished Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay, which is designed to help you decide whether to break up with your significant other? I'm not considering anything like that, as I warned Mike. But how does the book tell you what to do? Turns out, with a series of "diagnostic questions." And it was an interesting view into the mind of someone who's staying in a miserable relationship, or who thinks of leaving every time a problem comes up. I think I would recommend it to someone who was looking for advice on this subject. But again (DISCLAIMER), this is not me.
So now I'm reading Crossin Over: One Woman's Exodus from Amish Life. First of all, it's accurate in that it's really just the one woman's story--it's barely about the Amish, it's barely about anything except this twenty year old girl falling in love with a fifty year old, thrice divorced man with gout. Also, I'll tell you--she hates the Amish. Loves her family, hates Amishness. Sounds like her dad was verbally abusive. I don't know if you can blame all the Amish for that, but you can barely tell from this amateurish book.
I'll finish it though. It's shorter than this blog entry.