Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Ove is the meanest old man you'd ever want to meet, or maybe not.  He simply has principles and chooses to live by them in a manner the rest of us would call strict and stodgy.  But all that means is that we don't know Ove at all.

I don't want to give you any background on this story, other than Ove is an old man who is ready to call it quits.  The author has woven this story full of unexpected twists and turns, a surprise every few pages.  I want you to experience that for yourself, because Ove is going to become your new best friend.

A Man Called Ove is the best feel good book I've read in a long time.  My sister-in-law sent me the book from California.  I may never have found this story if not for the joy it has brought to others who wanted to spread good news to our troubled world.  More love is what we all need.

I smiled, I laughed, and I cried like a baby.  I finished reading about Ove while at work on my lunch hour.  The boss wanted to know what was wrong, why my eyes were so red.  What more could we want from a book than to experience the full range of emotion?  It's what I love about reading and it's what I love about Ove.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Boy am I glad I got my flu shot before I started reading this book!

An airplane from Russia lands in Toronto bring with it a deadly virus, the Georgia Flu.  People start dropping like flies within a matter of hours.  Kirsten Raymonde is a young child actress onstage in a production of King Lear the night the flu arrived, when the famous actor, Arthur Leander dies onstage of a heart attack.  The lives of those left in the post apocalyptic world remain tied to those who left their mark in the past.

Those who survive become scavengers, hunters, and travelers on foot.  Abandoned cars litter the roads, food must be hunted and the internet has gone dead.  The gadgets of the past are kept in a makeshift museum.  Life as we knew it had ceased to exist.  

This was one of those books that I didn't want to stop reading and when I was forced to turn out the light,  I couldn't wait to start reading again.  The author created a sparse and barren new world and moved the characters through it in such a realistic and believable way, I became immersed in the story.  Could this type of event really happen?  Maybe it could. But then again maybe it couldn't.  The level of doubt circled in my head.

I never want to know the answers to all my questions.  So please.  Get your flu shot.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I first read Eat Pray Love several years ago when it first came out.  I thought Elizabeth Gilbert was whiny and weak.  While reading, I'd scream at her, "Get off that bathroom floor!  Get a grip and clear your mind.  Why can't you do that?"  Cleary I was at a different place in my life.

This time I decided to listen to Eat Pray Love.  It's read by Elizabeth herself and all her love and emotion poured through.  I adored how she said "Luca Spaghetti" or did her best southern drawl when speaking for Richard from Texas.  This time around I found inspiration in her words.  She's a woman on a journey to find the meaning of her life.  Aren't we all doing the same thing at some point in our lives?  Or for all of our lives?  I know I am and I'm clearly at a different place in my life this time around.

I learned from this story a new way to pray, a different path to toward peace within the universe and that we must all be true to ourselves.  Our relationship with God will allow us to soar to new heights,  and that love is what makes the world go 'round.

Eat Pray Love is funny, heartbreaking, ordinary and extraordinary.  You will laugh and cry and have insatiable cravings for pizza and pasta.  Each of our paths toward a spiritual life is different, none better than another.  Sharing and learning from the experiences of others only enriches our own travels through this world.  Thanks, Liz.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

If you didn't know by now, this story starts at the barbecue.  And by the end of the story, I am so over the barbecue I can't even begin to express that feeling in a polite manner.  I'm a huge fan of Liane Moriarty so I couldn't wait to read her latest, Truly Madly Guilty.  Half way through I couldn't wait for it to end.

Erica and Clementine have been friends since childhood.  Erica is being raised by a dysfunctional single mother.  Clementine's perfect family, takes the poor child under their wing.  As adults are the women still really friends?  Nothing about the way the act would lead me to believe that.  I have some experience in this regard, having a dear and wonderful friend for over 50 years.  We met in the fourth grade.  Our lives have taken twists and turns down far different paths, but neither of us would ever consider treating the other in the rude and inconsiderate manner that these two characters did.

Truly Madly Guilty had so many insignificant sub plots that the story became cluttered.  I couldn't care about anyone in this story.  As a writer myself, I felt the author had been pressured into a quick book by her publisher in the name of the almighty dollar.  I adored The Husband's Secret and What Alice Forgot, both with rich story lines, humor and likable characters.  Truly Madly Guilty truly left me mad without any guilt to be found. 

City of Thieves by David Benioff

City of Thieves by David Benioff It's World War II in Leningrad, Russia.  17 year old Lev elected to stay behind in the city when h...