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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried
Tim O'Brien
Broadway, 1998
Source: Library
Audience: Adults

From Goodreads:
In 1979, Tim O'Brien's Going After Cacciato - a novel about the Vietnam War - won the National Book Award. In this, his second work of fiction about Vietnam, O'Brien's unique artistic vision is again clearly demonstrated. Neither a novel nor a short story collection, it is an arc of fictional episodes, taking place in the childhoods of its characters, in the jungles of Vietnam and back home in America two decades later.

Well, I was the wrong audience for this book. It's not one that I normally would have picked up, but I read it for book club.

I was super confused as to why this was fiction. The Things They Carried was well-written, because it felt traumatic and real. The main character's name was Tim, the same as the author, and it was written in first person. How is it not nonfiction? I'm guessing it was inspired by O'Brien's experiences. I just…

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family From a Lifetime of Clutter
By Margareta Magnusson
Scribner, 2018
Source: Library
Audience: Adults

From Goodreads:
In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädningmeaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.” This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner than later, before others have to do it for you. In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs readers to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming.

Margareta suggests which possessions you can easily get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you’d ever use) and which you might want to keep (photographs, love l…

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza
Shaun David Hutchinson
Simon Pulse, 2018
Source: E-Galley, Library
Audience: All Teens

From Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza is the product of a virgin birth.

This can be scientifically explained (it’s called parthenogenesis), but what can’t be explained is how Elena is able to heal Freddie, the girl she’s had a crush on for years, from a gunshot wound in a Starbucks parking lot. Or why the boy who shot Freddie, David Combs, disappeared from the same parking lot minutes later after getting sucked up into the clouds. What also can’t be explained are the talking girl on the front of a tampon box, or the reasons that David Combs shot Freddie in the first place.

As more unbelievable things occur, and Elena continues to perform miracles, the only remaining explanation is the least logical of all—that the world is actually coming to an end, and Elena is possibly the only one who can do something about it.


Wow, I loved The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza! I…

A Princess in Theory

A Princess in Theory
Alyssa Cole
Avon, 2018
Source: E-Galley
Audience: Adults

From Goodreads:
Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?


Norma…

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Dial Press, 2018
Source: My Own Bookshelf
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
"I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers." January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends--and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society--born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island--boasts…

Less

Less
Andrew Sean Greer
Boudreaux Books, 2017
Source: Library
Audience: Adults

From Goodreads:
You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes--it would be too awkward--and you can't say no--it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.

QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER: You accept them all.

What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

Becau…