I read two shorter books this weekend. The first was The London Train by Tessa Hadley, a Welsh author. It's actually two related short stories, though the connection is not revealed until partway through the second story. They both deal with characters who travel from Cardiff to London by train and the consequences of a chance meeting between the two. I preferred the second story, the male protagonist in the first story was a bit weird and not terribly sympathetic. The female in the second story was more likeable. Sometimes the descriptive language was a bit too flowery for my taste but overall it wasn't a bad book.
The second book I read was This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman. The story is actually sort of frightening as you can imagine it innocently happening to your own child. After a New York City party, a 13 year old girl sends a sexually explicit video of herself to a 15 year old boy she thinks she loves. He innocently forwards it to his best friend - partly puzzled, partly proud. The friend forwards it to two friends, they forward it to two friends each, and so on and so on and so on...The e-mail falls in the hands of the school resulting in investigations, suspensions, media attention, lawsuits and ultimately the breakdown of the boy's family. The picture on the jacket is of a house of cards - it's an apt visual for how quickly a seemingly perfect life can fall apart. The book's well written and easy to read.