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The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Reading Matters described this story as being told from the points of view of an elderly Jewish man and a teenage girl; that convinced me to read it. Leopold Gursky’s voice was appealing and funny, the teenage girl less so; still, of interest. It’s a complex story, that unfolds in a less-than-direct way.  Leopold Gursky lost both the love of his life, Alma, and the great book he wrote...

Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko

The author, a Bundjalung woman, has written a book that is at once devastating and funny. The continuing awful results for indigenous people of the European presence are well depicted here. The story centers on Kerry, who rides a stolen Harley back to her hometown as her grandfather is dying. She is sad about her girlfriend, just sentenced to five years in prison for robbery and feels guilty...

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I was fortunate to have this book to read during that endless travel day to Malta last week and it has been a good companion as I recover from jet lag. Though I knew the reviews for this book were positive, I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. I especially loved reading about her childhood and her modest, fun-loving, and hard-working family background. Throughout the book the...

Books to Read

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. 2005. two distinct voices. Kim rec. Too much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko. Lisa enthusiastic. 330 pages, stella shortlist. In the Shadow of Statues by Mitch Landrieu. Audiobook. Thomas and Beal in the Midi by Christopher Tilghman. Avail. April 16. Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken. The Siege of Krishnapour by J.G. Farrell. audiobook. Madame Foucade’s Secret...

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

What a pleasing book this is. It kept surprising me as it tacked in one direction, then another. It begins with Juliet Armstrong being hit by a car in 1981 and though she can hear someone calling her name to help her, she was unable to respond. She had been at a concert of Shostakovich string quartets  (the 7th, 8th, and 9th) at the Wigmore and it came to her she would miss the rest of them. She...

Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce

Tony’s enthusiasm brought me to this book, and a better audiobook I cannot imagine. It is the story of a young woman making her way in London during the blitz. Thinking she was applying for a newspaper job, she found herself typing for a failing women’s magazine from another era. Emmy lives with her friend from home Bunty in the upstairs of Bunty’s grandmother’s house...

The Taliban Shuffle by Kim Barker

I happened on this book by a strange route. In my last book, Whiskey & Charlie, the NATO phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc) is a key component of its structure. In looking around Wikipedia, a movie title caught my eye, Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot (yes, pretty funny title), and I learned it was based on this book by journalist Kim Barker. The NYT review of the book says the author...

Whiskey & Charlie by Annabel Smith

Whiskey and Charlie are twins born in Britain whose family moved to Australia when they were teens. The book opens with Charlie sitting with Whiskey in the hospital after an accident left Whiskey in a coma. Chapters with scenes at Whiskey’s bedside are written in sans serif type to distinguish them from the story of their growing up and then growing apart. That story is told in chapters...

Cold Spring Harbor by Richard Yates

It was Reading Matters’ recent review that was the impetus for reading this 1986 book written by the author of the better known Revolutionary Road. It begins with Charles Shepard’s disappointment that the war ends just as he arrives in Europe in 1918. He stays in the army until it’s clear his deteriorating eyesight has limited his career. His wife does not thrive, and after...

The Beauties: Essential Stories by Anton Chekhov

The stories in this collection of Chekhov’s work were translated by Nicolas Pasternak Slater, nephew of Boris Pasternak. I am new to his stories and I rarely read short story collections. It was Tony’s enthusiasm that led me to this particular collection. I don’t know the reasons for putting these particular stories together. In a few of the stories, Burkin, a high school...

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