Due to the Snowpocalypse that hit DC last Friday, I had a rare chance to catch up on my Google reader over the weekend. I found a lot of great book-related posts. I thought I'd share some of them here:
Heather at Book Addiction reviewed the new Jacquelyn Mitchard book No Time To Wave Goodbye. It is the sequel to her bestseller, The Deep End of the Ocean, which is about young boy who is abducted and returned to his family nine years later. The sequel picks up many years later, when the family is celebrating an Oscar nomination for a documentary about the disappearance. Then, "suddenly everyone is thrust back into the same nightmare they suffered over a decade ago." I remember reading The Deep End of the Ocean many years ago, and was intrigued to see what the sequel was like. Heather had some issues with the pacing of No Time to Wave Goodbye, but ultimately she enjoyed it and was glad that she read it.
Gwen at Literary License reviewed a book I saw at BEA last spring – Lying with the Dead by Michael Mewshaw. I've been curious about it ever since I saw it. According to Gwen:
In Michael Mewshaw’s latest novel, three grown siblings, all haunted by
a traumatic childhood, converge on their dying mother’s home in
Maryland….The narrative alternates among the three voices of the siblings, but,
because there’s little difference [between them], much of the
effect is lost. Further, depicted as unrelentingly abusive and selfish,
the mother has few redeeming qualities and forms an unconvincing
emotional center of this novel. Mewshaw’s real strength is in writing
credible dialog. At least half the book (and probably more) is straight
dialog, which keeps the pace lively and engaging. Although lacking
depth of characterization, Lying with the Dead is an entertaining and
quick-paced family drama.
Becky at A Book A Week featured a book about a family during the Japanese internment in the U.S. during W.W. II: When the Emperor was Divine, by Julie Otsuka. I've always been interested in this time in American history. Here's an excerpt of her review:
The book has only six chapters. Each one describes one event in the
life of this family. The first chapter describes the housewife
preparing to evacuate from her home, under orders from the U. S.
government. She packs up her family’s belongings, closes up the house,
and prepares for departure to an unknown place, for an uncertain amount
of time. Another chapter describes the woman and her children on the
train to the internment camp. Subsequent chapters describe the camp and
their experiences, with the final chapter describing their return home
to Berkeley, California at the close of the war, and the return of the
family’s father from imprisonment in Texas.
It’s a sad story of
loneliness and despair, of shattered dreams and trust. Otsuka never
gives her characters names, referring to them only as “the woman,” and
“the boy.” This distances us from the characters, yet at the same time
Otsuka excels at providing tiny intimate clues about these characters’
personalities and needs. Her simple approach belies a complex,
multilayered story. I wish I could remember who recommended this to me
so I could tell them how much I loved it.
And finally, Neil at Book Group Buzz wrote a post appreciating Alain de Botton, one of my favorite authors. He wrote, "The works of this Swiss-born writer,
columnist, and television commentator are concise, thoughtful, and
entertaining. They are diverse, covering subject including literature,
architecture, travel, material culture, and work. If you encourage
readers to pick up something by de Botton, everyone in your group
should be able to find something of interest. His prose is lucid,
employing short, clear sentences and interspersed with marvelous
descriptive examples." Most of the Alain de Botton books I have read are from his early years (On Love, The Romantic Movement), but this post features many of his more recent ones.
I hope you enjoy these links too!