Skip to main content

Featured Post

A New Way of Living | Weekly Snapshot

I don't know about you guys but this has been one of the longest weeks ever. With schools closed and work moved to home, this has been a new way of living. When the changes and shutdowns came just before last weekend, there was no time to really process the information. Within days, life had changed. And then on Monday, I reported to work, from my home, with kids also at home. It was when Friday finally rolled along that I felt the gravity of the situation, how we'll be rarely getting out for weeks, if not for months. How schools were likely going to be closed for months. How work still had to be done remotely or worse, there was no work to do anymore due to layoffs or a shutdown. How there was not going to be any dining in restaurants for months.


That was a very sobering thought. I didn't sleep until 1.30am that night.

How are you all doing? What are some of your tips to keep your sanity on while we get through this very difficult time? Some of you are in places that are …

Friday Finds -- Jan 22, 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

I added a LOT of books this past week. But I'll post just a few.



Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life
.





The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff
It starts with a question, a simple favor asked of a husband by his wife on an afternoon chilled by the Baltic wind while both are painting in their studio. Her portrait model has canceled, and would he mind slipping into women's shoes and stockings for a few moments so that she can finish the painting on time? "Of course," he answers, "Anything at all." With that, one of the most passionate and unusual love stories of the twentieth century begins." "Inspired by the true story of Danish painter Einar Wegener and his California-born wife; this tender portrait of a marriage asks: What do you do when someone you love wants to change? Einar dresses more and more as Lili - the name given to her by Greta - and what started off as a game becomes a way of life for Greta and Einar. With Lili as her muse, Greta's paintings begin to flourish. A French art dealer spots her work and the couple moves to Paris for the sake of Greta's career. In the permissive air of Paris between the wars, Lili is liberated and increasingly becomes Greta's companion on public outings. As Einar fades into memory they realize that a choice must be made: Lili or Einar. Greta finds a surgeon-psychologist at the Dresden Municipal Women's Clinic, and Einar travels to Germany to become, once and for all, Lili Elbe.





Banished by Sophie Littlefield
Sixteen-year-old Hailey Tarbell can’t wait for the day she’ll leave Gypsum, Missouri, far behind, taking only four-year-old Chub, the developmentally-delayed little boy her cruel drug-dealing grandmother fosters for the state money. But when a freak accident in gym class leaves a girl in critical condition, Hailey feels drawn to lay her hands on the injured girl and an astonishing healing takes place. Before Hailey can understand her new powers, a beautiful stranger shows up…just in time to save her and Chub from hired killers. A desperate race begins, with Hailey as the ultimate prize: there are those who will stop at nothing to harness her gifts to create an undefeatable army of the undead. Now it is up to Hailey and a small but determined family of healers to stand up to the unbelievable and face the unthinkable.





The Timer Game by Susan Arnout Smith
Grace Descanso was going to be a pediatric heart surgeon---she was a brilliant up-and-comer with a bright future in a heartbreaking, innovative field. Then she took two months off to work in a clinic in Guatemala, and something happened there that nearly destroyed her. She won’t talk about why, but she quit medicine and nearly killed herself with drink. Finally, inch by inch, she pulled it all together for her new baby girl. Now, five years later, though she’s sworn off practicing as a doctor, Grace is using her science background as a crime scene tech in San Diego and going to AA meetings, scraping by and living to be a mom to five-year-old Katie.
Everything falls apart again when in the middle of processing a crime scene Grace shoots a madman after he’s killed two of her colleagues and after he’s called her by name, in a bizarre kind of warning, about someone he called “the Spikeman.” A day later, her daughter is kidnapped right out from under her, and instead of a ransom note, the kidnapper sends her on a harrowing twenty-four-hour scavenger hunt, laying out clues and giving out deadlines, leading her carefully, terrifyingly closer to Katie---and to him.


Comments

wow, you discovered a bunch of books this week! i've been a bit idle with my blog--trying to get midterm exams graded so i can take a mini-break--so i haven't seen much to read. a few YAs did catch my eye--an abundance of katherines comes to mind. enjoy the weekend!
Alayne said…
These all look nice and intriguing! My find is at The Crowded Leaf.
bermudaonion said…
Those are all good finds! Everyone seems to love Hate List, but I'm not sure I could handle it.
Tales of Whimsy said…
O the last one sounds intriguing.
Marce said…
I can't wait to read Hate List either and The Timer Game sounds good also.
Alyce said…
I don't know how I missed Hate List, but I have to put that one on my TBR list.
Cat said…
Some great sounding books on your list.
Athira said…
nat, I understand that feeling. I had grading to do in my first graduate semester and I was glad to be done with it. Not that it was crazy, but mixing grading with thesis work is a definite no-no!

Alayne, Cat, thanks! :)

bermudaonion, I've been hearing about the book a lot lately too!

Juju, I agree!

MarceJ, I'm with you on that!

Alyce, that books sounds interesting, doesn't it?
Kristen said…
The Danish Girl sounds really intriguing.
Introverted Jen said…
I'm a little behind, but I love the cover for Banished! Hate List and The Timer Game sound intense.

I have an award for you at my blog!
Athira said…
Kristen, it definitely sounds good. His "The 19th Wife" was also making the news lately.

Jennifer, I agree Hate List and The Timer Game definitely sounds like one of those intense topics!
The Hate List is on my wish list! Some good finds here :)
Alena said…
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Alena

http://ovarianpain.net
Athira said…
Thanks Alena! Glad that you drop by! :)

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 …