Hosted by MizB at Should be reading, this meme asks you what great books did you hear about/discover this past week?
This has been a slow week for me in books and finds. Are first weeks at work always that way? I hope that's it and I'm deliciously savoring the long weekend coming up. Books, here I come!
The Madonnas of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse
The first time I came across this book, I wasn't too impressed, but that was because I didn't like the title. Kathy @ Bermudaonion's Weblog however adored this book and insisted that we try! Well, I'm not one to give up on that. When Kathy reviewed the book, she made it sound awesome!
When a dozen or so girls and mothers gather on an Echo Park street corner to act out a scene from a Madonna music video, they find themselves caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. In the aftermath, Aurora Esperanza grows distant from her mother, Felicia, who as a housekeeper in the Hollywood Hills establishes a unique relationship with a detached housewife.
The Esperanzas’ shifting lives connect with those of various members of their neighborhood. A day laborer trolls the streets for work with men half his age and witnesses a murder that pits his morality against his illegal status; a religious hypocrite gets her comeuppance when she meets the Virgin Mary at a bus stop on Sunset Boulevard; a typical bus route turns violent when cultures and egos collide in the night, with devastating results; and Aurora goes on a journey through her gentrified childhood neighborhood in a quest to discover her own history and her place in the land that all Mexican Americans dream of, "the land that belongs to us again."
Room by Emma Donoghue
This book wasn't exactly a new discovery for me, but it sure was a new addition. For some reason, all the publicity the book received only made me go farther away from it. I didn't feel like reading even the synopsis. And then I read my first ever review of this book by Diane @ Bibliophile by the Sea. Now I'm definitely interested. Sometimes, it really pays to wait for the hype to pass us by.
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It's where he was born, where he and his Ma eat and play and learn. At night, Ma puts him safely to sleep in the wardrobe, in case Old Nick comes.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she's been held for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for her son. But Jack's curiosity is building alongside Ma's desperation -- and she knows Room cannot contain either indefinitely.
Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes
I actually assumed this book was some horror book from the cover. Looking close at it now, I see cutlery, and I wonder how I even imagined that those were statues! Anyways, thanks to Lynne's review @ Lynne's Book Reviews, I managed to change my opinion.
On Thanksgiving Day 2007, as the country teeters on the brink of a recession, three generations of the Olson family gather. Eleanor and Gavin worry about their daughter, a single academic, and her newly adopted Indian child, and about their son, who has been caught in the imploding real estate bubble. While the Olsons navigate the tensions and secrets that mark their relationships, seventeen-year-old Kijo Jackson and his best friend Spider set out from the nearby housing projects on a mysterious job. A series of tragic events brings these two worlds ever closer, exposing the dangerously thin line between suburban privilege and urban poverty, and culminating in a crime that will change everyone's life.