I’m not techy. I can’t play Xbox games. I know enough about making my way around a computer to be either helpful or dangerous, and I’m slow with my iPhone. It takes me three times longer to compose a simple text on my phone than the average 6 year old.
Just ask my tech-savvy friends who have to add the changing mobile password to my phone at work for me because I can’t seem to get it to take , The Boy who explains for the umpteenth time how to turn on the tv with the various remotes or my daughter who smiles knowingly when I ask about the ins and outs of Spotify… again.
They all love me, but I’m sure their eyes are going to to get stuck in the top of their heads as they roll once again.
Anyway(s), one little techy gadget that I love is the Notes section where I keep a list of books that I want to read on my iPhone. When I read a review that makes me want to read that book or if a friend suggests a new title, on the list it goes! I have over 70 listed at present.)
Why do I love it? When I hit the library, I’m not always walking down the shelves, waiting for a book to jump out at me. Sometimes I want a book to pull me to it, but other times, I only have 10 minutes to be in and out; having a handy list of books that have intrigued me makes the quickness possible.
Plus, it’s one less on the spot decision I’ve had to make.
In the past three weeks, I’ve been able to cross off quite a few books on my list and some that never made it there. Since I know some of you to be readers, I thought I’d share my thoughts on some of the books that have graced my eyes.
Heft, by Liz Moore, is a compelling story that will make you want to rethink what the word “family” really means and how it is found in the most unlikely places.
58 year old Arthur Opp, a college professor of literature turned morbidly obese recluse, hasn’t left his once beautiful Brooklyn home in a years. His only tenuous human connection over a decade is through correspondence with a former student, the vulnerable and singular Charlene.
Twenty miles away, in Yonkers,17 year old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid unwillingly uprooted to a rich school, pinning his hopes of success on a promising baseball career. But first, he must extract himself from his family drama of living with an alcoholic and dysfunctional mother who has shut herself off from the world.
The link between this unlikely pair is Kel’s mother, Charlene, who places an unexpected phone call to Arthur—a plea for help—jostling them into action. Through Arthur and Kel’s own quirky, likable and lifelike voices, Moore crafts a brilliant and compelling story of two improbable heroes whose forced connection transforms both their lives.
I found it to be a heartwarming novel about friendships, acceptance and second chances.
The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey, is one of those books that grabbed me by the shirt sleeve as I walked by it. The simplicity of the cover and the feeling of adventure when the book was in my hand was enough to entice me to add it to my stack.
Set in the untamed, harsh landscape of the 1920′s Alaska, Ivey’s debut offering weaves a lovely story based on the Russian fairy tale about a girl, half-human and half ice and snow, who comes into the life of a childless old couple. This delightfully simple story hovers somewhere between myth and reality — and the effect is mesmerizing.
Each character is endearing and complete in their own personalities. The setting is enchanting and visible in the mind’s eye. The writing is rich and lyrical, real and magical at the same time. I could not put the book down, yet as the last page neared the turning of my hand, I discovered that I did not want it to end. I was too in love with the book.
“A sad tale’s best for winter,” as Shakespeare wrote. However, The Snow Child will convince you that in some cases, a fantastic story — with tinges of sadness and mystery — may be best for any season.
I absolutely adore Alan Bradley’s award winning Flavia de Luce series! When I realized that there were two books that had completely escaped my notice, I whacked myself in the head with my palm and set to rectifying that mistake.
If ever there was a sleuth who is bold, brilliant, adorable, it’s Flavia de Luce. She is wickedly witty, delightful, fearless, cheeky, wildly precocious and a perfect combination of Eloise and Sherlock Holmes.
It is the summer of 1950 — and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, is an aspiring chemist with a passion for
poison. Her wildest dreams come true in each book as she stumbles upon dead bodies. To Flavia the investigation is the stuff of science: full of possibilities, contradictions, and connections. And the opportunity to prove her worth to those in the village (and bite her thumb in direction of her all-knowing and ever-torturing sisters).
If you haven’t read the series, I highly suggest that you start at the beginning with Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The books build on each other, so though you may be able to appreciate them as stand alone readings, you will understand so much more as you watch the characters develop and grow, witness sibling rivalries and alliances and hear Flavia’s stream of conscious thinking… which are a riot in and of themselves.
This series is original, charming, devilishly creative. Between Flavia, her father, her sisters, the Inspector, Mrs. Mullet, Dogger and her trusty bike Gladys, you will find yourself laughing at the cleverness of the lines. If you haven’t read these sweet little mysteries, I too will quote Shakespeare. I say, “Get thee to a library!”.
Well, he would have said it if the Flavia series was written in his time.
Oh, and The Boy is now on book two of the series, The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag. This after devouring the first book. He loves them too.
I have more, but I think it’s overkill to list so many books at one sitting. It’s nice to be back in the swing of things. I’ve missed reading and have really appreciated relaxed, prone position it forces me to take. Sometimes I just don’t know how to be still. It’s nice to have hobby that forces it on me.
Well, that and the ability to escape for a while. It’s sort of like a free vacation to destinations unknown, only without all the packing.