Archive for April, 2011

The Illumination, by Kevin Brockmeier

April 29, 2011

[Lesley]  Brockmeier has an uncanny way of making unbelievable situations totally believable through realistic characters and details of the mundane.  Similar in style to his A Brief History of the Dead, The Illumination is a study of human suffering and what the world might be like (at the level of the ordinary individual) if we could literally see the suffering of others and ourselves.  Great writing – the section written from the perspective of a 10-year-old boy uses a device that I would never have believed could work until I read it here – and a fascinating subject for a story.  Highly recommended.

Available as an ebook on Libby/Overdrive

Title details for The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier - Available

Once Upon a Time, There Was You, by Elizabeth Berg

April 10, 2011

[Lesley]  As usual, I really enjoyed this story from Berg. I was afraid that the “tragedy” would be in the style of Picoult, etc. and it was going to be just too horrible, but then Berg makes it bearable so that you can concentrate on the real story of how the characters each react to things in such differing ways.

I find Berg’s novels comforting, realistic (mostly), and very quick reads. Her endings are a bit too “easy” and this one is no exception, but overall the novel is satisfying.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter, by Peggy Orenstein

April 7, 2011

[Lesley]      Great look at a particular part of our culture…  Are we giving girls real choices (I can be a firefighter or a princess), or are we giving them limited choices (I can be a princess… but only a Disney princess)?  I appreciated the sections on gender development and whether liking pink and becoming extremely girlish is necessary within the greater discussion of marketing and early-sexualization of girls.  What I liked most is the author’s own confusion and mixed-feelings about what to do with her own daughter.

Available as an audiobook on Hoopla


One of Our Thursdays is Missing, by Jasper Fforde

April 7, 2011

[Lesley]           It’s very hard for an author, especially when his stories are very unusual to begin with, to reinvent a character or series in the sixth book but Fforde does it very well in this one. It’s fun to get to know the “remade” Bookworld and the different cultural climates in its different areas. This device also allows Fforde to start to make comments on modern book issues like ebooks and vanity publishing. The “written” Thursday Next is a great character and fun-house mirror of the Thursday we’ve come to know and love. Good intrigue and some sweet scenes with Landen and Tuesday. I do hope that Sprockett appears in the future in the Bookworld as well.

Available as an ebook on Libby/Overdrive

Title details for One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde - Available