Monday, November 4, 2013

The Joy of a Good Book...

is boundless.  Really.  When I'm in a good book, it's like there is a film reel on repeat in my head, as my brain reviews, dissects, mulls over, ongoing events within its bindings.  As a child, I had a near-tangible experience of seeing this world of a good book open its portal to me as I fell into the smelled-so-good pages.  I'm waxing a tad romantic there, methinks, but such a feeling--! 

You know, I could write a blog JUST about good books; hek, I have a book summary document on my laptop, 49 pages in length, egad, of books I have read.  I started keeping it on my computer July 1, 2009.  Prior to that, I wrote in 2 scribblers.  So I've been documenting and keeping a summary of the books I've read for a long time!  I wanted to share some good finds I've come across over just the past couple of weeks.

Right now I am reading The Jugglers' Children by Carolyn Abraham.  My mum recommended this one to me.  It is non-fiction, and it is really, really good.  I can relate to it very easily, as my husband's family has some very similar mystery, folklore, secrets and skeletons in the closet, on both his mother's and his father's sides.  I'm hoping he will read it, as what few sentences I've shared with him have resonated with him.  Carolyn, an award-winning Canadian journalist who lives in Toronto, and who grew up in St. Catharine's, north of us by about 100 miles, has never been able to discover what nationality she is.  Eurasian.  Anglo-Indian.  Chinese.  Jamaican.  Perhaps.  So after her daughter, Jade, is born, she decides to buy a DNA test and tests her immediate family members with their approval to discover her roots.  I'm only into it by a few chapters, but it's fascinating.  Like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, it does a great job of mixing scientific data with captivating narrative

On Saturday I finished The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion, recommended to me by a close friend, and was it ever good.  Romance, comedy, a bit of drama - it was a great book, the first for this Australian author.  It reminded me of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon, and also of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Age 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend, but Simsion's protagonist, Don, is an adult who has Asperger's Syndrome.  He begins The Wife Project, an attempt to find the perfect woman to marry.  During the process, he meets Rosie, who really wants to know who her biological father is, and so he, being a professor of genetics, decides to help her with her Father Project.  She is totally unsuitable as a potential mate, according to the 34-page questionnaire he devised.  However, for reasons even he can't always pinpoint, he continues to help with her Father Project, and develops a relationship with her.

Before that, I read The Elephant Whisperer, by Lawrence Anthony, recommended by both my mum and another very close friend.  It was excellent, and rekindled my awe of and interest in, Africa, not to mention my love of elephants and game reserves, and safaris, and the exotic animals of Africa.  I used to watch "Wild Kingdom" on Sundays with my dad, and it brought back memories of that shared time.  What Lawrence was able to accomplish with that rogue herd of elephants, aka Nana and her family, is beyond remarkable.  I actually went on Thula Thula's website and checked out costs to stay there....  not an impossibility.  He wrote a few other books, one about his part in saving the animals of the Baghdad Zoo during the 2011 the US invasion, and another about rhinos that interest me.  I can see some Amazon purchases coming up this winter in Florida!

These 3 books, two of which I got out of our library, have made me put aside both Sashenka by Simon Montefiore, which I am half way through, as well as Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky (talk about mixed races in that name!), which I am slightly more than half way through.  Needless to say, I am not enjoying either of those two nearly as much as the ones I've previously mentioned!  The tragedy and poignancy behind Suite Française is moving:  Némirovsky, a very succesful Jewish author living in Paris, was deported and died in Auschwitz before she could complete the other 3 parts of the 5-part epic novel she had planned.  So I will go back to it, as I'd just begun Part 2.

So there's just a small segment of my ongoing love affair with books! 

1 comment:

  1. Very nice!
    Your reference to Wild Kingdom sparked a vague memory, but this did not ignite it further. I really don't have memories of that show, just the title!


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