Literary Sojourn 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sojourn 2014 Authors and Bookies

Authors at Sojourn 2013Bookies who attended
Karen Joy Fowler
Judy Bush
Curtis SittenfeldDiane Davis
Emily St. John MandelNora Ruppert
Colm Tóibín
Daniel Woodrell
Anthony Doerr


Here are our various reviews of the Sojourn books we read?

AuthorBookBookie GradeReview
Anthony DoerrAll The Light We Cannot See
About Grace
NoraALiked the theme of all nature is significant, not jsut humanity. Also, the idea that after WWII the best survives. Optimitic to think so, though the price is very high. Liked Coerr's curiosity and optimism too, in person.
Anthony DoerrAll the Light We Cannot seeJudyALoved this book. The writing was beautiful. I loved the characters. The history was so interesting. Would have loved it even more if the characters had had great lives after the war.
Colm ToibinBrooklynJudyB-I couldn't understand a book about a person with no personality. She let life happen to her. You just wished she'd wake up and start living.
Colm ToibinBrooklynNoraHilarious presenter--there's alittle of an explanation for the protagonists' distance from her own life. He talked about the loss of his father at age 12 and how nobody would talk about it. She is detached and not engaged in her own life, but strangely, it made for a fairly engaging story.
Curtis SittenfeldSisterlandNoraLiked the book a little better before I listened to the author. She came across as juvenile. Characters in book seem to not be too well developed, and the characters seem inconsistent. Jeremy is empathetic in first half, so hard to accept the fact that he becomes nasty in the rest of the book.
Curtis SittenfeldSisterlandJudyB-The sister relationship was interesting, but the tun of adultery seemed unnecessary in the book. It felt like a book that says,"I'm sorry I got caught."
Curtis SittenfeldSisterlandDianeBAnother story where poor and selfish choices bring unhappy consequences to others. Kate feels responsible for people, father and sister, who don't want her to take care of them. She suffers so much self doubt and angst that she can't really take care of herself.
Daniel WoodrellThe Maid's VersionDianeCPeople's poor choices impact generations later and cause the deaths of innocents. The banker spends the rest of his life doing good. Sheld he be forgiven? The man doesn't think so. Too dark.
Daniel WoodrellWinter's BoneJudyB-What a depressing story about people with nothing going for them. Even the main character, who suppsedly triumphed, really did nothing.
Emily St. John MandelThe Lola QuartetJudyCA dark, disturbing book about losers. I hated reading it. It was painful to read. Nobody was admirable. I hate reading books about miserable people.
Emily St. John MandelThe Lola QuartetDianeCDefined by the author as a "noir" novel. The characters are unlikeable. EAch one has a good quality , but make poor choices, which they don't learn from. They all "peaked" in high school in personal satisfaction and success.
Emily St. John MandelThe Lola QuartetNoraHard to like or connect with any of the characters. Emily talks about what it means to live honorably in a compromised world, but not clear who in novel is honorable. Another theme she mentioned that was interesting is that world is always enduring--eg., Elizabethan Age is over as all earlier ages.
Karen Joy FowlerWit's EndNoraWasn't sure where this was going. Characters were all detached, but inexplicably all become family at the end.
Karen Joy FowlerThe Jane Austen Book Club
Sarah Canary
DianeCDidn't like them. Enjoyed the author as the Sojourn moderator.