Monthly Archives: February 2014

Heart-less

As we near Valentine’s Day, I see the word “heart” everywhere. Which is fine, because all the heart-shaped necklaces, decorated cakes and candies, socks and undies, postage stamps and pretty lattes will disappear soon – in time for the Easter parade.

heartThe “heart” to which I am referring is the veritable plethora of “heartwarming,” “heart wrenching,” “heartrending” words that proliferate book reviews. Is there no other way to describe a tragic love story or a nostalgic memoir? I know I spend way too much time on my own little book commentaries, but my goal is to find some other way to express my opinion. True, it makes the writing more challenging, but that, actually, is a good thing!

If I see that word again, I think I’m going to have a heart attack.

 

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Good Things Come in Threes

Well, it’s official. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of winter.

Which means six more reasons to find a good book to read! If you don’t have a pile on a bedside table waiting, here are a few I’d recommend:

me before youMe Before You by JoJo Moyes

Think  My Fair Lady (original play – Pygmalion), The Sound of Music (The Story of the Trapp Family Singers), even You’ve Got Mail (based on play Parfumerie; little shopgirl/caregiver partnered with/pitted against wealthy “landowner.” Only with a twist: former Buttered Bun cafe clerk is hired to be companion for former stud-now-quadriplegic. More than a romance (thankfully, as not my thing), a story about choices. Couldn’t sleep until I finished it, and then I couldn’t sleep after.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt and Fairyland by Alysia Abbottwolves

Both, coincidentally, swirl around the “gay” topic, and both are told from young girls’ points of view. In the novel Wolves, set in New York City, June unravels her uncle’s secret life. Revealed in bits and pieces only after his AIDS-related death, June struggles to understand him and herself. On the opposite coast in San Francisco, Alysia also struggles to understand, love, and ultimately forgive her own father in her memoir, Fairyland.

fairyland

And while all three (of which all are now on my GoodReads list of favorites) feature female protagonists (which, oddly, was not why these books were chosen), fear not, testosterone readers. A strong male presence figures prominently in each book; in fact, without Will or Finn or Steve, there would be no story. The relationships between each of the pairs is of paramount significance. You must read them for yourselves; I will not spoil.

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