Thursday, May 17, 2012

New reads:

It's been a while since I shared what I'm reading so here we go. This week it's Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer Hamann and it goes a little something like this:

"Self-published in 2003, Hilary Thayer Hamann's Anthropology of an American Girl touched a nerve among readers who identified with the sexual and intellectual awakening of its heroine, a young woman on the brink of adulthood. A moving depiction of the transformative power of first love, Hamann's first novel follows Eveline Auerbach from her high school years in East Hampton, New York, in the 1970s through her early adulthood in the moneyed, high-pressure Manhattan of the 1980s.

Centering on Evie's fragile relationship with her family and her thwarted love affair with Harrison Rourke, a professional boxer, the novel is both a love story and an exploration of the difficulty of finding one's place in the world. As Evie surrenders to the dazzling emotional highs of love and the crippling loneliness of heartbreak, she strives to reconcile her identity with the constraints that all relationships -- whether familial or romantic, uplifting to the spirit or quietly detrimental -- inherently place on us. Though she stumbles and strains against social conventions, Evie remains a strong yet sensitive observer of the world around her, often finding beauty and meaning in unexpected places.

Newly edited and revised since its original publication, Anthropology of an American Girl is an extraordinary piece of writing, original in its vision and thrilling in its execution."

I read an review where someone said "If J.D. Salinger and Jane Austen had a love child, it would likely have been Hilary Thayer Hamann." As I have very strong feelings for both those authors, this statement intrigued me.  After reading it, I do not think it is quite that good, the author is nowhere near the level of my beloved Austen, but I can see where the reviewer might think that.

I'm almost done with it and so far, I like it. It's different than some of the other stuff I've been reading lately and I can appreciate the differences. Plus I'm a sucker for any coming-of-age story.

I identified with Evie because even though I'm technically an adult, I still feel sometimes that I'm stuck on the brink of adulthood and I just can't quite figure out my place in this world. But I think that's a problem a lot of people struggle with. I'm not alone. And if you ever feel that way, you'll probably feel something of a kinship with Evie as well.

As for my goal of reading 56 books this year, here is where I stand:

  1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
  2. Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume
  3. The Sweet Far Thing
  4. Interview with a Vampire
  5. The Tales of Beetle the Bard
  6. Spud
  7. The Secret History
  8. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  9. A Discovery of Witches
  10. Death Comes to Pemberley
  11. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
  12. A Week at the Beach
  13. Little Bee
  14. Naked

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