Finished up my second week with my mom and flew home this afternoon. Dog is….cat is…I had a very bookish second week attending both my mom’s book groups. The first is called “Read and Share” where everyone goes around and talks about a book they have read. I was reminded that I want to read The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds. The second one discussed Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. The general consensus was that the book was very well done but on the grim side. As for myself I finished The Round House by Louise Erdrich and Canada by Richard Ford. I also read A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers by Michael Holroyd. And in flying home I started the second book in Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department of Lost Causes – The Absent One. This one is hard to put down.
Here is what caught my interest this week:
Rian Malan grew up in a middle-class Afrikaner pro-apartheid family in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a teenager Rian began to have doubts about apartheid and eventually left the country to avoid mandatory service in the army. He returned in the 1980′s and wrote My Traitor’s Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience reviewed here by The Boston Bibliophile. Malan explores his upbringing, his personal relationship to apartheid (he is descended from one of the original architects of the system), and the toll of apartheid on blacks and whites. He does this through an examination of different murders in South Africa. The book was written when apartheid was still in place and sounds very powerful.
The Canterbury Tales is a classic – pilgrims telling a set of stories and it is replayed in modern form in Tokyo Cancelled by Rana Dasgupta. Thirteen pilgrims are stuck overnight in an airport when their flight is canceled. In order to pass the time, the travelers each tell a story. This debut work by the British-Indian writer is reviewed by Nic at Eve’s Alexandria. She includes many quotes from the stories and says, “The whole thing is endlessly imaginative and marvellous fun, deftly negotiating an impressive variety of styles and tones – and drawing on a wide range of global storytelling traditions – in the creation of modern fables. Highly recommended.”
Finally, from Chrisbookarama, comes this lovely post from The Lonely Planet about The World’s Greatest Bookshops. The list includes City Light Books in San Francisco, Shakespeare and Company in Paris (which youngest has been to and made me green with envy), and eight others.
And Kimbofo has a post on Australian Literature month and she has several links in the post which will give you an excellent overview of Australian literature.