The week did not start out well – on Monday night my friend with cancer ended up in the hospital with a low white blood count. I grabbed the book I had at hand and met her in a very crowded ER. Unfortunately I was reading David Malouf’s Fly Away Peter. As time ticked away I found myself in the trenches of WWI. While Malouf’s prose was beautifully done, it was a tad too graphic for the situation. So the next day, I go to the movies to relax with friends and found myself sitting at the edge of my seat watching The Place Beyond the Pines – which, again beautifully done, is not a relaxing movie. And my other read this week is The Tenth of December by George Saunders, and again, not necessarily a calming read. I think I need to crack open my Josephine Tey mystery I got out of the library. And I had the challenge of switching my google reader feed. The good news is that it wasn’t hard to actually do (the research and decision part was far harder). And Himself is back from his week of traveling and will be working around the house during the next month.
Here is what caught my interest this week:
I first heard about Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell in the New York Times Book Review. And I must admit I am a little Leary about it as I tend to stay away from Young Adult fiction but one sentence from the review made me sit up and think differently:
“Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”—John Green, The New York Times Book Review
Vishy’s Blog also has a wonderful review of the novel which is about two young misfits who fall in love. The novel takes place over the course of one year, 1986 when Eleanor, the new girl in town who is not fitting in and Park, the odd man out in his family meet on the bus.
I really enjoyed Gerbrand Bakker’s novel The Twin – a quiet, restrained examination of a surviving twin and his father on a remote Dutch farm. (Click here for my review). Ten White Geese (known as The Detour in Europe) is Bakker’s third novel and second to be translated into English. Iris on Books reviews Ten White Geese this week and it is definitely going on my list. This novel is also set on a remote farm where a female Emily Dickinson scholar leaves Amsterdam to settle in Wales. There is a boy, a mystery about who the woman is and why she is there and once again there is a quiet exploration of a life.
The Indextrious Reader reviews a book I should probably pick up this week – light-hearted with a touch of pathos at the end – discussing Flee, Fly, Flown by Janet Hepburn. The plot reminds me a little of The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed out a Window and Escaped by Jonas Jonasson as both feature elderly people fleeing the confined existence in a nursing home. In this case it is two women who leave Ottawa in a “reclaimed” car and a young man as a driver embarking on a journey across Canada. I love road trip books so will watch out for it.
Finally, two bloggers have picked their top favorites of the read so far this year – Capricious Reader and The Book Stop. Eleanor Park is mentioned by both of them and there are many other books to look at as well.