Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What I read in March (2013)

This is my monthly recap of the books I've read and reviewed on my book blog. For full reviews of these books, click on the title to go to Marie's Book GardenI have only two books to review this month--partly because (1) Mike's family have been visiting and we celebrated his 50th birthday, and (2) I was reading The Little Book the second half of the month, and I just finished it this morning.

Veil of Roses, by Laura Fitzgerald

I'm easily drawn into stories that take place in different countries or cultures, such as this novel about a young woman who leaves Iran to come to the U.S., determined to find a man to marry so she can immigrate permanently. Tamila Soroush arrives in Arizona to visit her sister and her husband and study English...although her primary purpose is to get hitched to a good Persian husband...within 3 months. What bothered me about this book was that Tamila seems to speak near-perfect English. The prose is flowery and overdone at times, and tThe plot is predictable, but that's expected for this kind of book (the cover, after all, is pink), but the ending was a bit different than what I expected.  It was an easy read...but it could have been so much more.
Unexpectedly, Milo, by Matthew Dicks 
This quirky story is about a thirtysomething home health nurse (Milo) who has an unususal form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It manifests itself in making strange demands on his brain and taking over his life until he satisfies them. For example, a word will pop into his head and his obsession will not go away until someone spontaneously says this word. And he keeps all this a secret from everyone. As you can imagine, his marriage was not terribly successful. One day Milo finds a video camera with a bag of tapes under a park bench. They're made by a grieving young woman who has a lot of secrets, too. Milo is determined to help this woman feel better by solving one of her problems. He takes off on a road trip to North Carolina to find a friend of hers, who had vanished 20+ years earlier. This journey makes Milo realize that he's not the only one who is a bit odd and he's also not the only one hiding secrets.

After awhile, the constant weird demands did get a bit annoying. I didn't feel particularly sympathetic to Milo because of the way he detached himself from others through his secrets. My favorite part of the novel was when he met with one of his elderly clients, who were all far more honest and genuine than Milo himself.
The Little Book
Stay tuned to my book blog for a review of The Little Book by Selden Edwards, a time travel historical novel, which I've just finished.
Ruth Ozeki's new book

And what I've just started today and am very excited about: A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki. As I wrote in February, Ozeki is one of my favorite authors and she's finally published a new book. Last week I heard her read from the book at Powell's, and I did something HIGHLY uncharacteristic of me: I paid $28.95 to purchase her hardback novel. Typically I buy new books only for other people...because I devour books so rapidly, I tend to get my books from the library (I actually had a copy of this novel on hold!!) or from book sales or www.paperbackswap.com. I am looking forward to having some time to get immersed in this novel.


  1. Loved your reviews! You have me intrigued!! I don't think I've ever read any Ruth Ozeki! it sounds like I need to do something about that. --Lisa

  2. Thanks Lisa--I highly recommend her books!

  3. I, too, like books about life in different countries. But I gravitate more toward memoir for that taste of reality.
    I love your theme, Marie!