The Three Books of Thanksgiving Weekend

November 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm 9 comments

So a four day weekend means I can read a lot – in between making Thanksgiving dinner, shopping, watching a very sad football game (OSU v. Michigan)  and playing with my two year old of course.  Luckily the books I was reading were fun and easy reads that made this weekend all the more enjoyable. Reading with some coffee and a leftover slice of chocolate pecan pie is all the better

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan: Book CoverThe Forsyte Saga, Volume I. The Man Of PropertyBefore I Go to Sleep

1. “Maine” by J. Courtney Sullivan, Published 2011:

This is much more of a summer read but it was overally pretty good. The story is about three generations of women in one family all during one month in the summer spent in the family’s summer cabin in Maine.  There are fairly common themes here: Catholic guilt, disappointed parents, alcoholism, recovery, bitter grudges, and redemptive love.  So really everything that most families have and hold dear.  I enjoyed this book overall but the end really, really pissed me off.  I understand that Sullivan probably thought she was being poignant but I think she just got lazy and quit.  That said, 370 of the 380 pages are pretty enjoyable.

2. “A Man of Property” (Book one of the Forsyte Saga) by John Galsworthy, Published 1906:

My disclaimer here is that I have been reading this book for some time, I only finished it this weekend. The story of Soames Forsyte and Irene (and her lover) is pretty well known so I will just say the writing is superb and I look forward to reading the rest of the Saga. I love turn of the century literature so this was a great find.  If you want to skip the book, the BBC 2002 production of this book is equally as good.

3. “Before I Go to Sleep” by S.J. Watson, Published 2011:

I read this book in a day because as soon as I started it I had to know how it ended.  Christine suffers from a rare kind of amnesia. She can remember her life up until her late twenties but she cannot retain her day-to-day memories. In fact, she has no recollection of the last twenty years. She wakes up each morning with a man she cannot remember beside her in bed and when she looks in the mirror she realizes she is actually in her late forties.   Each day, her husband, Ben, must walk her through her life – that she was in an accident twenty years before and she suffered a terrible head injury. At the urging of her doctor, she begins keeping a daily journal which she hides from Ben in the back of her closet. Each morning, after the initial shock of her loss of time, Christine receives a call from her doctor and he tells her where her journal is. And each day she must reread the journal to find out what has happened to her and what her life has been for the last twenty years.  However, at some point in her journaling she writes “Don’t Trust Ben” without further explanation.  It literally gave me goosebumps and it was worth staying up late to finish.

Sadly, it is back to work tomorrow and back to not eating pie but until then I will be nestled in watching the rest of the Forsyte Saga…and probably eating more pie.

For more reviews on these books see:


Entry filed under: November 2011 reads. Tags: , , , , , .

Everything always returns to the beginning – “Shanghai Girls” by Lisa See Stealing children never turns out well – “Hot Springs” by Geoffrey Becker

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nella  |  November 28, 2011 at 2:43 am

    I loved Before I Go to Sleep – it also kept me riveted and I had to finish it (hence read too late into the night!). I was fascinated it was by a first time novelist; what talent. I can’t wait for her next one. I haven’t read the others you mentioned here – I’ll look out for them.


  • 2. Emily C  |  November 28, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I also was amazed that this was his first novel. It is a great way to start a writing career. Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. Happy reading!

  • 3. janewalters  |  November 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I think I will need to read “Before i go to sleep” now, it sounds like a good read.

    • 4. Emily C  |  November 29, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      I hope you like it, you will have to let me know…

  • 5. dianeledet  |  November 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Pecan Pie and time to read. I am grateful for these things as well this year.

    • 6. Emily C  |  December 4, 2011 at 7:16 am

      I couldn’t agree more.

  • 7. listyles  |  December 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I loved this book – riveting to the end I thought! You probably have, but have your ready Sister & Afterwards both by Rosamund Lupton? Both as gripping in their own way!

    • 8. Emily C  |  December 28, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      I have not read anything by Rosamund Lupton – I will have to add her to my list. Thank you for the suggestion!

  • 9. listyles  |  December 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    PS It is tehhe SJ Watson book I was talking about!


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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.


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