Reading Frenzy

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Necessary Beggar by Susan Palwick

Monday, April 03, 2006

Reality Show Addicts

Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst

Okay, I confess. I haven't read this. It doesn't even come out til mid-June. But how can those of us addicted to reality shows resist?

"Parkhurst's lauded debut, The Dogs of Babel (2003), which centered on a man struggling to come to terms with the death of his young wife, struck a chord with readers, and her follow-up, a humorous and touching send-up of reality shows, is bound to please as well. The novel focuses on several characters competing on an Amazing Race-like reality show called Lost and Found, where teams of two travel from destination to destination following enigmatic clues and collecting various items in hopes of winning the game. Laura wants to connect with her sullen teenage daughter, Cassie, after a traumatic experience highlighted the distance between them. Justin and Abby believe they have cast off their homosexual urges in favor of a traditional Christian marriage, but the game offers unexpected tests for their resolution. Carl and Jeff are two middle-aged, recently divorced brothers looking for adventure. Juliet and Dallas are former child stars seeking to recapture fame and willing to do just about anything to achieve that end. Emotional confrontations, suppressed desires, and unexpected connections surprise the various contestants as they continue to play a game that is starting to disgust them. Thoroughly original and inventive, peopled with engaging characters, and just plain fun, this second novel deserves to be as big a hit as the reality shows it genially pokes fun at." -- Booklist, starred review

Request for purchase, no doubt about it!

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran Foer

It still seems like 9/11 was yesterday, a public grief as well as a private one that just hasn't healed yet. So this book has been in my tbr stack for almost a year, and finally I picked it up.....and also borrowed a copy of the audio book. Sometimes a combination of reading both can compliment one another, and I found that to be the case here.

Oskar Schell is a precocious 9-year-old whose father was one of the casualties of the attack that took down the twin towers. Oskar is bright, funny, inventive, exasperating, and incredibly sad--and more than anything he wants to fix this one thing that can't be fixed. He carries a terrible secret, on the day of the bombing he arrived home first, and heard the many calls his dad made, and before his mom could hear the tape, replaced it. Later, he finds a vase in his dad's closet with a strange key and the notation "Black" and begins a quest to find the owner of the key, and make this connection with his dad.

Interspersed through the Oskar tale, is the story of his grandmother and grandfather, who had survived the World War II firebombing of Dresden, and found each other in NYC, only to be separated when his grandfather, who couldn't speak following the German bombings, left his grandmother when she was pregnant with his father.

Oskar is a character that grows on you; his frustrations and quest becomes the reader's. It's a heartbreaking yet heartwarming novel that brings across the pain of loss and the working toward gradual healing.