Friday, January 20, 2012

Momentous moment of trivial organization

"What book are we reading next month?" asked a friend at our local book group.
It took me a moment to wrangle my phone out of my pocket. Then I mis-typed the password, again. But two screens later I was clicking on "calendar." Scroll to February, click on Thursdays ('cause that's when we meet) and there it was.
I actually used my phone to answer a question, so I guess my phone really is getting me organized after all.
Of course, there's still a long way to go, but that "task list" on it says I need to post some more book reviews, so here they are. Plus coffee. Always coffee. And no ratings because I really don't like rating books.

The book we talked about last night was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. The science of cell-lines fascinated me, and the ethics of health care and poverty gained a very human face in Henrietta Lacks' family. It took a few chapters before I was hooked, but I really enjoyed the book. Drink some 4-star complex coffee with this--it's a complex, intriguing tale.

It seemed oddly appropriate that I received a review copy of Bernice McFadden's Gathering of Waters while reading Henrietta Lacks. Reminiscent of Marcus Zuzak's The Book Thief, Gathering of Waters rebuilds the world of Emmet Till's horrific murder, peopling it with very real characters, avoiding prejudgment, and creating glorious space in ignominy for hope. I loved it! Recommended with a 5-star bold, dark, intense cup of coffee.

Another totally absorbing tale is Rust by Julie Mars. New York artist Margaret Shaw asks the help of New Mexico car mechanic Rico as she raises her sights from two dimensions to three. Filled with imagery of land, art and relationships, in perfect balance, welded by emotions as metal is by fire, it's a skillfully woven, beautifully constructed novel, elegant and complex as a 4-star cup of coffee.

Finally, here's the book we read last month at our book group. At Home, by Bill Bryson, is filled with tidbits and deep recreations of history and mystery. Curious details and personal anecdotes build onto tales of Capability Brown, John Constable and more. The Industrial Revolution rolls over England's green and pleasant land. And there's something for everyone--a perfect book for dipping that just might keep you reading while you enjoy that well-balanced 3-star cup of coffee.

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