Happy Mother’s Day to all. I decided to stay in Oregon so I get to actually spend Mother’s Day with my mom. She is hosting my cousin’s family for the weekend so we have had a nice visit discussing politics, the world, books, etc. Her 2 1/2 year old is very verbal and bright so I have had many interesting discussions and the 10 month old just started walking yesterday. I managed to finally finish Ragnarok which was somewhat of a struggle to get into – expect a review early this week and I also read the second Louise Penny mystery, FAlatal Grace, which I enjoyed as much as I did the first.
Here is what caught my interest this week:
Jon Hassler was a Minnesota writer I have never heard of until I read Matthew (A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook) reviewed Grand Opening. He sounds like an interesting author focusing on small towns and how they shape the people who live in them. I like books that are focused on a space. Grand Opening takes place in 1944 when the Foster family move to a small Minnesota town to run a grocery store. They encounter lines drawn by religion, politics, and longevity all of which complicate the Fosters’ attempt to rebuild their lives.
Sometimes a brief mention is all you need to add a book to your list. Alyce of At Home with Books just finished Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow. Mldoinow explains how our conscious and unconscious minds work together and the new research on our subconsciousness. The chapters alone are enough to pull me into reading this book: 1. The New Unconscious, 2. Senses Plus Mind Equals Reality, 3. Remembering and Forgetting, 4. The Importance of Being Social, 5. Reading People, 6. Judging People by Their Covers, 7. Sorting People and Things, 8. In-Groups and Out-Groups, 9. Feelings, and 10. Self.
I have long debated about reading We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver for a long time. The novel is about a boy who commits a massacre at his school. Told through a series of letters by the boys mother, the novel goes into the nature/nurture debate about children who commits such crimes. Needless to say, the subject matter is difficult which leads to my hesitation. However, Ti of Book Chatter posts an excellent review which leads to a great discussion in the comments section. I may have to reconsider and read this book.
Finally, Matthew of A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook has an excellent list of books about mothers and motherhood. And Danielle of A Work in Progress has a fantastic list of female North American writers. There is bound to be something for everyone on theses two lists.