Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel, by Jasper Fforde.
More than 150 years after Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel was written, Jasper Fforde calls upon Jane Eyre and assorted characters from works by Bronte, Dickens and others English works of fiction to weave into this humorous, action-packed, romanctic, surreal story for lovers of literature. I suppose those who take their English literature very seriously might find the plot too fantastic and irreverent, but I was thoroughly amused by it. On a long drive out of state (and back) I enjoyed the audiobook, read by Susan Dewadin and published by Random House, Inc., 2009.
For those of us who passionately love works of fiction and their characters, it is not too far-fetched to conceive that we might one day wish to enter into a novel or have the characters enter into our world. The heroine of this story is a sort of literary detective (special ops agent) named Thursday Next. She also appears in several other books, though this was the first written by Jasper Fforde in 2001. For more on the author, books, and grot (See the British t.v. series: “Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin” for a definition of grot), take a look at the website:

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Friday, October 22, 2010

A new job as a reference librarian has kept me from the normal number of hours I've been able to read. However, I did enjoy my second time reading "The Friday Night Knitting Club" for our Book Club discussion. The group of eleven women who gathered to discuss the book were all eager to share their thoughts about Georgia, Cat, Dakota, Anita, Darwin, Lucie, Gran, and all the other strong women of this tale. There are two more books in the series and I've put them on hold for future reading because I want to see how their lives unfold.

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

The American Home Front 1941-1942 by Alistair Cooke

For anyone interested in WWII era history, this remarkable book documents the observations of the many ways Americans at home contributed to, and were affected by, the war effort. Author Alistair Cooke was a well-known British-born, American correspondent and also the television host of BBC America and Masterpiece Theatre.
What makes this book particularly interesting is that after he returned from his lengthy travels across the length and breadth of the country, Cooke’s publisher decided not to publish the manuscript as it was finished just as the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The pages lay at the bottom of his New York apartment closet for 60 years until, shortly before his death in 2004, they were discovered. Fortunately, someone recognized their worth as historical documents and set about getting this book published in 2006 by Atlantic Monthly Press. The book includes a map outlining Cooke’s route and a generous index for anyone who wishes to zone in on a particular region, event, person, etc.
Cooke was a gifted writer who includes descriptions of landscapes, living and working conditions, and people of all types. His love for his adopted homeland (he became a U.S. citizen in 1941) is apparent.
As my mother is in her 90’s her memories are fading. As I read parts of this book I was able to find information that could help me stimulate her memory through guided questions. It has been rewarding for both of us!
Consider reading this book for a fascinating tour of that time period in history. Before long, our chances to talk with those who lived it will be gone forever.

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