Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review: THE JASMINE ISLE by Ioanna Karystiani

The Jasmine Isle, by Ioanna Karystiani. Published 1997 by Europa Editions. Literary Fiction. Translated from the Greek.

The Jasmine Isle is an epic tale of lost love and a beautiful story of the love between sisters, set in Greece at the beginning of the 20th century. Straddling the old world and the new, Ioanna Karystiani tells the story of the Saltaferos family. Minna is a matriarch, a woman who runs the lives of her daughters Orsa and Mosca. Orsa, the elder of the two, is beautiful and in love with Spyros Maltambes, but Minna makes her marry another man. Orsa's husband is a good man who cares for his lovely wife, but Orsa cannot help but pine for Spyros, who marries the person Orsa loves most in the world save for himself.

Karystiani's style is dream-like and impressionistic. Sometimes I had to reread passages to follow her loose-woven paragraphs and storytelling but I fell under her spell nonetheless. She creates vivid characters and palpable tension between them as time goes on and the family grows and changes. Set on a seafaring island, death is a constant presence in the lives of the Saltaferos family and indeed of every family in their orbit. The men are all sailors, traveling the world and risking their lives while the women wait and worry. They bring back treasures from around the globe but the real treasure- their love- seems to elude even the most well-meaning among them. Or at least that's how it seems.

The Jasmine Isle is an elusive novel, the characters slipping away from each other and from us, never quite in our grasp. I don't mean this in a bad way, just that Karystiani transmits the melancholy and isolation they feel as wars and love and passion and disappointment wash over each one in his or her turn. Poor Orsa, and poor Mosca too, and even poor Minna, as frustrated and bitter as the rest. The men don't fare much better. So it's a beautiful novel but a sad one, but one I'd recommend to literary fiction readers, about staying behind in more ways than one.

Karystiani has a new book out, Back to Delphi, which I hope to read soon.

This is my sixth book for the 2013 Europa Challenge.


FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.

Monday, April 29, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I finished the new Massimo Carlotto book, At the End of a Dull Day, and really enjoyed it. It's a followup to The Goodbye Kiss and while it has a different feel, it's a great noir.

I started Clair de Lune, by Jetta Carleton, her followup to The Moonflower Vine, one of my new all-time favorites and a book I think just about anyone would love. Clair de Lune is about Allen Liles, a young woman teaching at a Missouri university just before America gets involved in World War 2. It resembles John Williams' Stoner insofar as it's a Midwestern academic novel, although one set slightly later and from a woman's point of view. Again it's not exactly the same in tone and feel as Moonflower, but it's a wonderful book so far and I have high hopes for it.

This being the end of April and the end of "books I've always wanted to read month," I'll start on my new reading theme with my next book. That theme is "recommendations from others." I love to give recommendations but the truth is I rarely take them, so I've decided to dedicate May to books other people want me to try. First up is probably going to be Correlli's Mandolin, recommended to me by my coworker from the bookstore, Jennifer. She and I overlap a lot in our book tastes, and she's awesome and super smart (like all my friends) so I'm sure I'll love it.

What are you reading today? See more at Bookjourney.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: THE FUGITIVE, by Massimo Carlotto

The Fugitive, by Massimo Carlotto. Published 2007 by Europa Editions. Nonfiction. Memoir. Translation.

Author Massimo Carlotto is widely considered to be the "King of Mediterranean Noir," one of the most popular authors in Europe of gritty, dark crime fiction. I'm a big fan of his; I've read everything he's published with Europa Editions and I'm always looking for more. The Fugitive is a memoir he wrote about his life on the lam in the 1970s basically. Before he was a crime writer, he was an innocent man convicted of murder at the center of a famous and widely discussed case that helped change the Italian system of jurisprudence. He was convicted, then he was acquitted, then he was convicted again, and then he ran. He ran to France and then to Mexico, where his journey ended and he was sent back to Italy where he turned himself in. Then he received a presidential pardon and his life took yet another turn.

The book covers his case from beginning to end but focuses on the years he spent in hiding. Parts of it read like a virtual how-to on how to live underground. He played different characters in his attempts to blend in- a tourist, or a businessman, or an intellectual. He hung out with revolutionaries and political types, with artists and writers and with ordinary people on the margins like himself. He conducted love affairs and friendships. He witnessed heartbreak, death and horrible things. He became ill in prison and nearly died. But eventually he was vindicated.

The Fugitive is a fascinating and addictive read. The narrative doesn't always stay on track chronologically; he veers from topic to topic sometimes, and one reviewer hit it on the head when he said that the book reads like the conversation you would expect to have with Carlotto over a leisurely Italian dinner with lots of wine and plates passed around. His tone is casual yet there is an urgent emotional undercurrent that works to keep the reader's interest. He comes across as desperate and scared and lacking control, a man who is always trying to maintain control of his life and often failing.

Even if you've never read his novels (which you should do now, by the way) his memoir is a great snapshot of a time and place, of what it was like to be underground and part of a community of political activists and others barely tethered to society as most of us know it. Some of it will break your heart, like the story of a couple he knew in Mexico who literally lost their young son one day in Mexico City, or the anonymous German man who died in Carlotto's Mexican jail cell, who knows why. If you do like his novels, The Fugitive is required reading but it's a riveting great read for true crime fans just the same.


This is my fifth book for the 2013 Europa Challenge!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from Europa Editions.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

#GoT Episode 4: And Now His Watch Is Ended

Do not read this if you haven't seen this week's episodes. Do not blame me if you keep reading and see something you don't want to know.

Whoa. Well this week's episode was not a placeholder.

Favorite moments:
  • Jaime and Brienne realize they like each other. In a platonic way. But when have we ever seen Jaime Lannister have a friend before? This is a big step for him in terms of personal growth. He spent a lot of time feeling sorry for himself.
  • Tywin tells Cersei "You're not as smart as you think you are," and assures her that he will stop Joffrey from "doing what he likes." Huh. Interesting. I think Tywin is one of the more interesting characters on the show, and not just because I've had a lifelong crush on actor Dreamy Charles Dance, ever since he played Guy Perron in "The Jewel in the Crown," which I first saw in high school. He's always got something going on, which of course was why his relationship with Arya Stark last season was so hilarious. Someone put one over on him! I assume Tywin knows what's what with Joffrey's parentage. I wonder what will happen next!
  • Daenerys kicks some serious butt with her dragons and turns her slave army into an all-volunteer force with impressive efficiency.
  • Poor Sansa. So naive. Yes, dear, marry the Knight of the Flowers. I really want to make a joke about turkey basters but I try to keep it clean on Boston Bibliophile.com. 
I didn't see the twists with Daenerys coming, though I did figure that her dragon was not going to passively accept the transfer in ownership. It was a pretty great sequence though. 
  • Craster got what he had coming to him. I have to say he is probably the most odious character on the show and that's saying a lot.
  • The Night's Watch descended into chaos after that guy from "Torchwood" gave Craster a taste of steel-tipped karma, and Samwell Tarly ran off with his girl crush Gilly.
  • Arya confronted the Hound with his murder of the butcher's boy way-back-when and earned herself some more respect points from the Brotherhood.
  • Something weird happened with Tyrion but I don't remember what exactly.
  • Margaery introduces Joffrey to the fine art of sucking up to the public. Cersei seemed disturbed by this.
  • Various people conspire over Sansa's fate, with the end result that Margaery suggests that Sansa marrying Margaery's gay brother is a realistic and desirable possibility. Of course Sansa has no idea about that, she just has a crush on him cause he's handsome. Somehow I don't think that's going to work out though.
This episode flew by for me. We didn't have any weepy Catelyn, except in one of Bran's dreams (his sequence was mercifully short) and no mopey Robb either. Also no mopey Jon Snow, but that means no Ciaran Hinds so you win some, you lose some.

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I finished Massimo Carlotto's memoir The Fugitive, which I enjoyed; I'll have a review later this week and tell you more then. I also finished Ioanna Karystiani's The Jasmine Isle, a very lyrical book that could be hard to follow at times but was worth the effort. I also decided to DNF Sarah Bakewell's How to Live.

I'm moving on to a funner nonfiction book, Jen Lancaster's Such a Pretty Fat, about her project to get into shape. I've been enjoying her books for years and decided I needed a funny book right now. I also started Massimo Carlotto's new book, At the End of a Dull Day, the sequel to my favorite of his, The Goodbye Kiss. In the new book, Giorgio Pellegrini is back and more lethal than ever as his comfortable and respectable lifestyle is threatened again. I also started Falling to Earth, by Kate Southworth, about a devastating tornado that hits the midwest in the 1920s and the one family that doesn't lose anything.

What about you? Check out Bookjourney.wordpress.com for more!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review: LET'S TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, by Gail Caldwell

Let's Take the Long Way Home, by Gail Caldwell. Published 2010 by Random House. Audiobook by Tantor Media. Narrated by Joyce Bean. Nonfiction. Memoir.

A couple of years ago, Let's Take the Long Way Home was a bit of a local it-book, written by Boston Globe writer and Pulitizer Prize winner and author of A Strong West Wind: A Memoir, Gail Caldwell, about her long friendship with the late Boston writer Caroline Knapp, author of Drinking: A Love Story, and Pack of Two, both memoirs. I was sort of vaguely aware of it and vaguely interested, mostly because I remember how much I enjoyed Knapp's column in the Boston Phoenix for most of my teen years. I didn't know much else about her, but that she was a recovered anorexic and alcoholic. I didn't know anything about Caldwell but lots of my local friends raved about this book, so when I found it on audio I thought it would be a good choice for my bus commutes.

It's a lovely, elegaic book, a document of a beautiful and committed friendship between two women, two writers and two dog-lovers. Knapp and Caldwell met briefly professionally; they got to know each other when a mutual friend suggested that as neighbors, they walk their dogs together. Caldwell was the owner of a Samoyed named Clementine; Knapp's dog was Lucille, and the two women began a long and deep friendship that ended with Knapp's death of lung cancer in 2002.

Caldwell's book covers time before and after her friendship with Caroline, her grief at her friend's death and her slow march alongside death as she tries to find a peaceful place beside it. The two womens' devotion to their dogs plays a large part in the narrative and Caldwell describes the bond she had with Clemmie very beautifully. She also talks about how Knapp taught her to row, and one of the most moving passages in the book details the last trip she made with Knapp's boat after her death.

Other people figure in the narrative too, most importantly Knapp's boyfriend (later husband), photographer Mark Morelli, but it's really about Caroline and Gail and the times they had. I found the book to be a very readable (listenable?) tribute to friendship and meditation on loss, and I'm so glad I finally picked up this wonderful book. Joyce Bean does a fine job narrating and I'm glad I decided to listen rather than read the print version. I think Bean's voice is exactly the one I would have given Caldwell in my head.

I recommend Let's Take the Long Way Home to readers of memoir and especially for readers interested in Boston and the Boston writing community, and for dog lovers, too, and for those experiencing loss. It was a memorable and moving work.


FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

#GoT Episode 3- The Price of Power

Do not read this if you haven't seen this week's episodes. Do not blame me if you keep reading and see something you don't want to know.
I have to admit I was not held spellbound this week. This week's episode seemed like a placeholder. We check in with lots of characters and see them in transition.
  • Arya and Gendry head off with the Brotherhood; Hot Pie stays behind but he bakes a mean wolf-shaped roll for Arya. Sweet. He should get a job at the Boudin Bakery making things out of sourdough, but he's stuck in Westeros, poor thing.
  • Tooljoy "escapes" or is let go or something and ends up with someone who may be something to do with the Starks. "Winter is coming." Whatever. When is someone going to put him out of his misery? He tries to be Cartman (Respect mah authoritay!) but I think he's like the Jimmy Wichard of Westeros. I'm the boss man!!
  • Tyrion gets a new job as Master of the Coin, basically a glorified bookkeeper for the royal household. But this job could yield some interesting assets. Follow the money, as they always say. Where will the money lead? 
  • We get some comic relief via Bron and Podrick, Tyrion's bros. Ha ha.
  • More boring hand-writing from Catelyn and unmemorable fuming from Robb. Robb is supposed to be the hero at this point but since Peter Dinklage stole the show, all the guy who plays Robb has going for him is... nothing. My husband tells me Robb made a bigger impression in the book. It's hard to see how a character could make less of one than this milquetoast.
  • Daenerys bought her slave army, including a potentially interesting character, a young woman who may have some hidden depths. Or not. Time will tell!
  • The best part of the show is once again the scenes with Jaime Lannister, who shows some real personal growth this week with his protection of Brienne at the hands of their brutal Stark-aligned captors. Unfortunately as his conscience grew, another part of Jaime got smaller. Ouch.
So I was not thrilled with this week. Everyone's on their way to somewhere else; this week is just a way station. I should have known we were in for a whole lot of nothing when whole seconds were taken up with Tyrion sliding a chair across the floor in the opening minutes. Like, okay, so we have nothing better to do? And the silliness with Podrick was just an excuse for this week's T&A, because it's HBO and heaven forfend we skip the nudity.

Last week I got an email pointing me towards The King's Roadmap, an online resource connected to HBO that shows a map of the Game of Thrones world with some fun interactive features. I had a little trouble using it but it seemed like a fun way to spend some spare time.

If you know of any Game of Thrones resources, either fan-made or official, I'm happy to share them so let me know.

What did you think of this week's episode? Boring filler or thrilling storytelling? Leave a comment!

Monday, April 15, 2013

It's Monday! The Only Blog Post I Do Dependably! What Are You Reading?

I had a great week in reading. This theme I have for April, of reading books I've been meaning to read forever, has lead me to some really fun books so far. Sometimes I think every month should be this way. :-)

Anyhoo so this week I finished Sisterland, Curtis Sittenfeld's new book coming in June, and I really enjoyed it. She's such an interesting writer. She writes about ordinary life with a skewed perspective and I love that. I first read her work in an anthology called This is Not Chick Lit, a collection of literary women. The story, which I'll never forget, was called "Volunteers Are Shining Stars" and like I said, I'll never forget it. Some of Sisterland will stay with me for a long time, too!

I also read Vaclav and Lena, by Haley Tanner, which has been on my radar basically since it came out. The paperback is about a year old now and I really, really loved this book. It's not what you think it is at the beginning and I admire the way the story unfolds.

I'm still working on The Jasmine Isle; I started another Europa, The Fugitive, crime writer Massimo Carlotto's memoir of his life on the lam after an unjust murder conviction. I don't even know where to begin except to say truth is stranger than fiction, and his fiction is pretty strange! This book is a trip and a half, literally and metaphorically. It's currently out of print but I hope Europa brings it back since I have a feeling their new World Noir initiative will reignite interest in Carlotto, who has a new one out soon. Which you can better believe I will rush to pick up ASAP!

And I'm currently scanning my TBR to pick out my next book, most likely True Grit or Blood Meridian. We'll see!

What are you reading? Leave a comment and let me know and visit Bookjourney.wordpress.com for more.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Love and War in the Apennines, by Eric Newby. Published 2008 by Lonely Planet. Nonfiction. Memoir.

If you like memoirs about World War 2, Italy, love stories or adventure stories, Love and War in the Apennines is the book for you. A bookstore customer recommended it to me before I went to Italy last year, and I'm so glad he did because it's a really terrific book that I never would have found on my own. It's the story of author Eric Newby's experiences behind the lines in World War 2, first as a prisoner or war and then as an Englishman on the run, hiding and trying to stay one step ahead of the Fascists. It's also the story of how he met his wife, a brave young woman who helps him hide.

The book starts with the story of the naval operation that gets him captured in the first place. Even Newby admits that this part might be a little dry for some readers: "Those who are bored by descriptions of abortive cloak and dagger operations should skip the first chapter." That's good advice, but I do think understanding how Newby got into the situation in the first place is instructive. But the real story, the story you've come to read, takes off like a shot after that. Newby treats us to detailed descriptions of life as POW, the people he met, the social structure of the place.  He also gives some insight into the progress of the war in Italy and I definitely learned a lot about what went on after Mussolini surrendered to the Allies but before the Germans gave up on them.

And that's the basis for what Newby goes through during his period of hiding. He's caught at the epicenter of the conflict raging in Italian society- in the homes of regular people, the divisions between those who wanted to obey the Nazis and those who wanted Italy to be done with fascism. Newby's trying to get south, back to the British but to do he has to travel, largely on foot, through miles and miles of rural territory, living in caves and brush, aided now and then by brave Italians willing to risk their lives to provide him with food, shelter, maps and supplies. It's an amazing story, beautifully told.

The things he goes through are pretty incredible, in terms of his emotional state, the people he meets and the landscape itself. The book is a kind of cultural tour of parts of rural Italy, highlighting linguistic and cultural differences in a country that was anything but unified in the early decades of the 20th century. If you're any kind of Italophile I think this book is required reading; certainly if you're interested in POW narratives or World War 2 it's worth seeking. It's a hidden gem for sure!

Rating: BUY

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

#GoT Episode Two: Dark Wings, Dark Words

Do not read this if you haven't seen this week's episodes. Do not blame me if you keep reading and see something you don't want to know.

So I tried to tweet during Sunday's episode but that was impossible because I was too busy WATCHING the show which was very good.

  • We catch up with Arya and her friends who spend some time with the Brotherhood without Banners, a free-agent group of roaming fighters, where she meets an old friend;
  • Theon Greyjoy, or as my friend Jean likes to call him Tooljoy, is being tortured after his humiliating debacle at Winterfell;
  • Sansa finally tells someone what Joffrey did to her;
  • Shea tries to get Tyrion to help Sansa;
  • Jaime and Brienne continue their odd-couple's journey, which is halted;
  • Bran and company meet some new friends and learn more about his powers;
  • Just a quick visit with Jon Snow and the Wildings. Jon's still with my boyfriend, Ciaran Hinds. I love that he's on this show;
  • Not much happens with Robb and Catelyn, just some boring hand-wringing about Jon Snow.
I love Arya and her friends; I find her character growth fascinating. We never get enough Arya time as far as I'm concerned. She runs into a friend of her sister's at the end of her sequence. I hope this works out OK for her but I'm concerned.

Most of this week's episode takes place at King's Landing and involves Margaery's attempts to get to know her betrothed a little better. She and her grandmother (Diana Rigg!) interview Sansa, and Sansa confides in them the terrible things that Joffrey's done to her.  Margaery exploits this knowledge expertly as usual, continuing her masterful manipulation of Joffrey. I like Margaery a lot. I like how smart she is, and how she is able to control things to her advantage without resorting to cruelty. She's a real politician, a born power broker, and as Cersei tries to tell her son, there's a reason behind everything she does. I can't wait to see what this great character will do next. Well, I kind of know, but you know what I mean. (I haven't read the books but I have read extensive spoilers for several characters.)

The other fun thing about this episode for me is the relationship between Jaime and Brienne. Jaime is really the character you love to hate, the antihero. I loved the scene last season where Tywin tells Jaime that he's basically a screwup, that he had every advantage and wasted them all, and Jaime is just like, who cares about you. I know he's a bad guy but I'm interested in his character's evolution and I sense some changes in store for him.

Of course I had to laugh when incest practitioner Jaime defends Loras and Renly's relationship with "you can't choose who you love." Ha ha.

I love how this story is so much more concerned with the people on the margins rather than those at the center of power or the center of the society. Women, illegitimate children, people whose physical attributes, social placement or age renders them undesirable or disrespected are the people who are at the center of every plot now. Of course once Ned Stark was killed at the end of Season 1, we knew we were not in a for a standard hero-driven narrative. I can't wait to see where Martin and Benioff et al will take us!

I'm curious. I started watching the show on demand last year, sometimes two or three episodes at a time because it was so compelling. Now it's driving me crazy to wait a whole week for each new episode! Some of my bookstore customers are telling me they're buying the third book because they can't wait for next Sunday. What about you? Are you reading the books? Have you read them? Are you so impatient for the next installment you're flipping the pages as fast as you can, or are you managing your Game of Thrones stress in a different way?

Comment! Let's talk.

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

So I finished Wide Sargasso Sea which I... did not like. Author Jean Rhys means to tell the story of Antoinette Mason, the woman married to Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre- her childhood, the early days of their marriage, and the reasons he locks her in the attic. It probably stands alone OK but for me it's impossible to imagine it without having read Jane.  I don't read Jane as realistic fiction- I see it as a fairy tale- so I can't get myself worked up over the "injustice" of her situation. Therefore going into detail about how awful Rochester is and how pitiable and wronged she is doesn't really work for me. It's a book I've meant to read for a long time, and I'm glad I did, but I'll move on now!

I'm still working on Sisterland, by Curtis Sittenfeld, and I started reading The Jasmine Isle, by Ioanna Karystiani, a tragic love story set in early 20th century Greece. I'm enjoying it but it's a slow read, written in a very loose and impressionist style that you have to follow closely. In other words it's not a light book but worth the time you put into it. Karystiani has a new book out, Back to Delphi, which is my piles too. I also started Serve the People! by Yan Lianke, a satire set in China at the height of the cult of Mao, about a dutiful functionary who has an affair with his superior's wife. It's fun.

What are you reading? Check out BookJourney.wordpress.com for more.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday Salon- It's Game of Thrones Time

It's been another busy week for Marie. Work and play are both keeping me hopping; I'm sewing a lot and reading a lot and just sort of feel like I'm doing everything a lot. Except exercising! My Achilles tendinitis flared up and I'm resting until it's better.

On the reading front, I picked up a copy of A Game of Thrones this weekend and have been dipping into it out of curiosity more than anything. It's okay. I like the show a lot, but I'm finding the book kind of wordy and tepid. Are you watching the show? I've been thinking about doing a recap post every week and having some discussion about it here on the blog. Might be something fun to keep us occupied. I probably won't continue with the book but I'll keep watching the show.

We're definitely getting into GoT fever at the bookstore. Sales of the books always pick up when the series is on the air and we are getting some feedback about the delay of the paperback release of A Dance with Dragons, which is now scheduled for October. I love chatting with customers and sharing their enthusiasm for the series (both the television series and the books) and I feel bad for them that they have to wait so long for the paperback release of the latest book, never mind when the sixth book in the series will be published. I think the fans are mostly just hoping he finishes soon! This series is even more fun to watch roll out than The Hunger Games was around the time of its theatrical release, because it's been such a long time coming for the fans.

What do you think? Are you a fan or have you been avoiding it? If you're into it, are you up for a discussion post here on Monday or Tuesday?

I hope you're having a great Sunday. More Sunday Salon on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review: WAVE, by Sonali Deraniyagala

Wave, by Sonali Deraniyagala. Published 2013 by Knopf. Nonfiction. Memoir.

I remember the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, at least as well as a bystander thousands of miles away who was personally unaffected could. I remember being horrified by the mounting death toll and the sheer anarchy of the event, the way it seemed like a part of civilization was wiped out when the water crashed and receded. It's now estimated that 230,000 people were killed, with Indonesia suffering the greatest losses followed by Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. The tsunami was felt as far away as South Africa, where several people were killed.  It happened just after Christmas, on December 26 of that year, when New England was enveloped in a snowstorm and my family and I were sleeping off another sweet season of joy.

Economist and writer Sonali Deraniyagala remembers it as the day she lost her family- her parents, her husband Steven and her two sons Vikram and Malli. They were all killed on a vacation near her family home in Sri Lanka, in an instant, an instant she didn't even know was happening as she was locked in her own second-by-second struggle for survival. She brings these moments, as well as the months and years that followed, as her grief left her hollowed out and lost, to vivid, unforgettable life in her searing memoir, Wave.

It's hard to know how to react to this book except to want to sit down and cry. It's very difficult for me to imagine the depth and profundity of her loss, of the losses endured by everyone who lost everything to that terrifying event. The book is brave and honest. It must have been incredibly difficult to write. I'm sure she's had to describe it many times over the years but it's still hard to imagine sitting down day by day to bring it together coherently, systematically. It's the measured, controlled antithesis of the wave itself with its random, capricious force. But it's powerful, too, this book, a permanent memoir to her permanent loss.

Deraniyagala takes us through the event itself, to the slow-dawning and horrifying realization of the death of her family, to the first days and months of grieving and finally to the years that followed and the fragile peace of her everyday life. She makes us feel the insanity of it all, the terror and the emptiness and the little tiny bit of hopefulness, too. She brings her family to life for us, one last time, so that we can get to know them and through them the many worlds and people that were lost during that tragic storm.  It's a marvel of a book, which I think everybody should read.

Rating: BUY

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I had a pretty great reading week. I finished The Humanity Project, by Jean Thompson, which I liked a lot. It didn't have the sweep of The Year We Left Home but I loved it in a different way. I'll have a review probably later this week.

Apart from dipping into some other galleys, that was about it. I'm now headlong into Sisterland, which I'm enjoying quite a bit as well, and slowing wading through Where Tigers Are at Home. That book is extremely long and you'll likely be hearing me say "I'm still reading Where Tigers Are at Home" for several months!

This month's reading theme is books-I've-always-wanted-to-read, so I'm starting with Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, her Jane Eyre prequel if you will, about the life of Bertha Mason, Mr. Rochester's first wife. I'll let you know what I think!

What about you? Let me know in the comments!