The sun shone today. I weeded another three feet of the flower beds in another three hours, then dug sprouting dandelions out of the grass. I'm still not sure why the weeds grow so much better when sheltered by thorns, but my fingers wish they didn't.
Anyway, before the sun came out, and while the son was still visiting, I did spend the odd spare moment buried in books. So here's my latest crop of book reviews. (Do book reviews grow better when sheltered by thorns I wonder?)
As usual, click on the links to read the full reviews on gather. And look underneath my profile to read a translation of coffee ratings.
The inheritance of beauty, by Nicole Seitz, is a beautiful depiction of aging, as well as a fascinating mystery, as elderly George comes to terms with events of his South Carolina childhood. The wonderful Alice, who cares for Maggie, seems surer that George that his wheel-chair-bound wife is "still there." And the result, as the author views past and present through her characters' eyes, is just spell-binding. I'd suggest a 4-star, rich, elegant and complex coffee to drink with this.
Firesong, by Aaron Paul Lazar, starts in the shimmering heat of a New York State summer, just before a tornado arrives. How's that for accidentally topical. The story's a fascinating mystery centered around very real people--a cast of characters that quickly draw the reader in. Read this one with a 3-star, balanced, full-flavored coffee.
The Arrivals, by Meg Mitchell Moore, tells of many unexpected arrivals in the one-time empty nest of Ginny and William. Welcoming children and grandchildren, chaos, worry and joy, together with all the baggage of childhood and marriage, makes for a tale full of humor, surprises, and sweet insights into human frailty and forgiveness. Balance a 3-star full-flavored coffee next to your book as you read this.
Wonder Mom and Party Girl, by Marc Schuster is a roller-coaster ride with pathos, humor, laugh-out-loud dialog, harassed mother, and a "just say no" message that becomes achingly real. Sip a 5-star bold dark intense coffee with this one, carefully.
The Double Life of Alfred Buber, by David Schmahmann, travels from Rhodesia to America to Bangkok to London and deeply into the truths and imaginations of staid Alfred Buber whose dreams are more than just a desire to fit in. Alfred's memoir promises secrets and an exotic love affair, but the truth is deeper than it seems, couched in comedy, tragedy, and profound observations. Another one for that 5-star intense cup of coffee.
The Immortality Virus, by Christine Amsden is a surprisingly evocative sci-fi novel set in a future world where all the trials and tribulations of old age have been "cured" by "the Change." Unfortunately everyone living longer has led to a few complications. Reminiscent of Blade Runner in its depth of dystopian world-building and casual insertion of detail, this one is really a treat. Drink a 3-star well-balanced coffee while reading it.