Skip to main content

Friday Finds -- Jan 15, 2010

Friday Finds

This meme is hosted by MizB at Should be reading. What great books did you hear about/discover this past week?

My finds

This week, I came across some really interesting books.



 Fireworks over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff
Lily was married for just days before her husband was sent abroad to fight in WWII. Now, he and the other soldiers are returning, and the small town of Toccoa, Georgia plans a big celebration. But a handsome and kind Italian immigrant, responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned captures Lily's heart and soul. Torn between duty to society and her husband, and a poor, passionate man who might be her only true love--Lily must choose between a love she never knew and a commitment she'd already made.





The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend.When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal she left behind. But he is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.





The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
First published in 1892, The Yellow Wall-Paper is written as the secret journal of a woman who, failing to relish the joys of marriage and motherhood, is sentenced to a country rest cure. Though she longs to write, her husband and doctor forbid it, prescribing instead complete passivity. In the involuntary confinement of her bedroom, the hero creates a reality of her own beyond the hypnotic pattern of the faded yellow wallpaper รข€“ a pattern that has come to symbolize her own imprisonment. Narrated with superb psychological and dramatic precision, The Yellow Wall-Paper stands out not only for the imaginative authenticity with which it depicts one woman's descent into insanity, but also for the power of its testimony to the importance of freedom and self-empowerment for women.





Lake of Sorrows by Erin Hart
American pathologist Nora Gavin has come to the Irish midlands to examine a body unearthed by peat workers at a desolate spot known as the Lake of Sorrows. As with all the artifacts culled from its prehistoric depths, the bog has effectively preserved the dead man's remains, and his multiple wounds suggest he was the victim of the ancient pagan sacrifice known as the triple death. But signs of a more recent slaying emerge when a second body, bearing a similar wound pattern, is found -- this one sporting a wristwatch. Someone has come to this quagmire to sink their dreadful handiwork -- and Nora soon realizes that she is being pulled deeper into the land and all it holds: the secrets to a cache of missing gold, a tumultuous love affair with archeologist Cormac Maguire, the dark mysteries and desires of the workers at the site, and a determined killer fixated on the gruesome notion of triple death.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Oooh, I loved The Yellow Wallpaper. It's probably one of my favorite short stories of all time!
Anonymous said…
I loved The Yellow Wallpaper. I reviewed it on my blog the other day.
Athira said…
JessiKay and Kat, Wow, I can't believe I only just heard of The Yellow Wallpaper!
Alayne said…
Excellent finds, especially The Yellow Wallpaper. Mine is at The Crowded Leaf.
bermudaonion said…
I think Fireworks Over Toccoa is going to be big!
I read The Yellow Wallpaper for one of my lit classes. It's pretty fascinating. You have some good finds, I've added a couple to my TBR list!
Introverted Jen said…
The Yellow Wallpaper is a head trip. Fantastic!

I'm interested in Fireworks over Toccoa also.

I've read Erin Hart's first book, Haunted Ground, and I remember liking it. I should probably get around to reading Lake of Sorrows also.

Great choices!
Aleksandra said…
I think I'll definitely like "Lake of Sorrows" and "Fireworks over Toccoa" looks interesting, too!
Cat said…
I've never heard of The Yellow Wallpaper but it sounds like its worth trying to find for myself.
Have read Lake of Sorrows and enjoyed it.
Andrea said…
I read The Secret Year and enjoyed it...and I received Fireworks Over Toccoa as a suprise to review!
Sherry said…
Hey, Aths! I made it here! Wow, I can't wait to read a few of these books... so much for keeping my TBR list under control in 2010.
Athira said…
Alayne, StephTheBookworm, Jennifer G., I'm still whacking my head for not hearing of The Yellow Wallpaper, sooner.

Cat, that makes two of us who didn't hear of The Yellow Wallpaper. :) Glad to hear you liked Lake of Sorrows.

bermudaonion, Aleksandra, Fireworks over Toccoa has been making big news in the blog world lately. I can't wait to read it soon!

purplg8r, glad to hear you liked The Secret Year. I can't wait to hear how you liked Fireworks over Toccoa.

Sherry, thanks for making it here!! :)
Beth Kephart said…
My son read Yellow Wallpaper last year at college and couldn't stop talking about it. Thanks for giving me a clearer view.

You have great taste!
Athira said…
Beth, glad to hear that, and thanks! :)

Popular posts from this blog

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri (Short Fiction Review)

I first read Jhumpa Lahiri years ago, when her Interpreter of Maladies was making a huge buzz. At the time, I didn't catch any of the buzz, but for some reason, when I saw the book on the shelf at the store I was browsing in, I felt it just might be a decent read. Funnily, I read the entire short story collection without complaining about it, but for some reason, I cannot read any collection anymore without agonizing over its disjoint nature.

I did enjoy Interpreter of Maladies, but I did get bothered by the thread of loneliness and infidelity and distrust that laced through the stories. For that reason, I have been reluctant to read Unaccustomed Earth. However, when I came across Hell-Heaven at the NewYorker - a free short story from her book, I decided to go ahead and read it. I can't resist the pull of stories set in India or featuring Indian characters, and it is that same aspect that hooked me throughout this story.


In Hell-Heaven, the narrator contemplates the relations…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
Bernadette Fox has a reputation. While her husband and her daughter Bee love her, there's barely anyone else who share the sentiment. Her neighbor Audrey loves to gossip mean things about her with her close friend, Soo-Lin. The other parents of kids at Bee's school look down on Bernadette because she doesn't involve herself in school affairs. Bernadette herself goes out of her way to avoid company.

And then one day, Bee comes home with an excellent report card and asks for her reward - a family trip to Antarctica. The very plan throws Bernadette into a panic but she has no other option. She hires a virtual assistant, based out of India to take care of all her demands, including getting prescriptions at her local pharmacy, doing her online shopping and taking care of some of the logistics of her trip. (It is ridiculous! Bern…

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Short Fiction review)

With the Hunger Games hype that engulfed us last week, it was hard to avoid all the discussion of similar works that existed. Of the many titles that I came across, two stood out particularly - a short story called The Lottery and a Japanese novel (and movie) called Battle Royale (which I'm reading right now and just cannot put down). The novel will be fodder for another post, so for now, I just want to rave about the awesomeness that was The Lottery.

In contemporary America, villagers across the country are gathering on the 27th of June (and some a day earlier) for an annual event called the Lottery. Children, women, men, all come to the main square of their village or town, where the lottery master keeps a black box full of paper chips. One of these chips is marked has a special mark on it to identify the winner (the person who draws that chip). Not everyone draws however, but only the head of the family. Husbands are viewed as the head of their families/households, and if the …