The Hunger Games

Well, I heard Suzanne Collins' newest series was good, and the first book did not disappoint in the least. Katniss is a fierce heroine. When her father died, her mother emotionally abandoned the family to Katniss' care. As the eldest daughter, Katniss took it upon herself to feed the family by poaching in the woods with her friend Gale. All of this experience causes her to radically underestimate her ability to survive. When her younger sister, Primrose, is selected for the Hunger Games, Katniss doesn't hesitate to take her place. The Hunger Games are the ultimate in creepiness, a reality tv show created when "tributes" of children ages 12-18, one girl and one boy from each of the outlying areas, are forced into the wilderness and kill each other off one by one. All for the entertainment of the wealthy people in the Capitol. Katniss is ruthless in defense of her own survival, but she also becomes attached to the young girl Rue and to her fellow competitor Peeta in ways that defy her own understanding.

Personally, I'm just annoyed that the sequel doesn't appear to be available on my brand new Christmas Kindle (thank you Ben!). Because if it were, it's what I'd be reading

Oh, I also read most of The Lacuna by Kingsolver, but left it before the end. It was too obvious how it was going to end. I enjoyed the Mexican setting (having just traveled there for a week) and the international politics, but the long suffering closeted protagonist was more fun in his boyhood, less fun when he semi-retired to Ashville and developed xenophobia. Plus Kingsolver had more and more of the story told in articles and letters, resulting in less emotional involvement with the characters. I loved the lush poetry and aching loneliness of Prodigal Summer, so it's not that I don't love what Kingsolver can do. Certainly the coincidence of a young boy's life spanning encounters with oil magnates in the 20s, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Lev Trotsky in the 30s, and then HUAC in the 40s felt a bit contrived to my reading eye.