Yes, the cold weather is beginning to settle around us here in central Illinois...we have been so lucky so far...even Thanksgiving day was in the 60's, but a cold wind blew in and it has been cold ever since! The last three books that I have read are good ones for those cold winter days (and nights) coming up...all three are fairly easy, quick reads that will keep your attention!
Await Your Reply is about re-inventing one's self, over and over. It is about identities. It is a mystery. The author does a quite skillful job of creating confusion and wonder as you read. I enjoyed this book very much and am hoping that the ending means that a sequel may be in the works!
My wish for you: Good reading this winter!
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
The End of Your Life Book Club, by Will Schwalbe, is the story of his mother's (Mary Ann) last two years of life after she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Mary Ann and Will had always shared their love of reading and books with each other. As they spent increasingly longer hours together at doctor visits, hospital stays, chemotherapy, etc. they formed The End of Your Life Book Club, making what they had done for years an official thing. Both were prolific readers and their choice of books to read together were fascinating. (Happily, the list of books is included at the end of the book)
As Will wrote near the beginning of the book:
"You could say that the book club became our life, but it would be more accurate to say that our life became a book club. Maybe it had always been one-and it took Mom's illness to make us realize that. We didn't talk much about the club. We talked about the books, and we talked about our lives.
We all have a lot more to read than we can read and a lot more to do than we can do. Still, one of the things I learned from Mom is this: Reading isn't the opposite of doing; it's the opposite of dying. I will never be able to read my mother's favorite books without thinking of her-and when I pass them on and recommend them, I'll know that some of what made her goes with them; that some of my mother will live on in those readers, readers who may be inspired to love the way she loved and do their own version of what she did in the world."
Mary Ann had a very full life. She was an extremely active and interesting woman and continued to be through-out her illness. The book is full of her wisdom that she passed on to Will. And thankfully, he passed on to us. As much as I love reading, this book made me even more grateful for the gift of reading. It was so wonderful to read this personal journey of a son and his mother. Thanks, Will.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
If there is anyone reading this blog who has not read Life of Pi,here is a very brief, incomplete summary of the basic story: it is the story of a young Indian boy, Pi, whose family owned/runs a zoo in India. Pi grew up with all of the animals in the zoo, so he knew their ways, etc. His parents decided to move to Canada and the ship they are traveling on sank. Pi found himself in a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra and a tiger. The story is about how Pi survives.
There were two features of the book that I especially enjoyed. I liked reading of Pi's spirituality and wanting to know God...he was a Hindu, and also became a Catholic and a Muslim...all because he wanted to know God better. The spirituality of the book was quite touching and thought-provoking, in my opinion. The other thing that I really liked about the book was how it went back and forth from the past and the present. I didn't find that confusing at all, which is a sign of good writing! The book did win the Man Booker Prize award.
Would I recommend it? Yes. Will I read it again at some point? Yes again.