Friday Finds -- October 15, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010


Friday FindsHosted by MizB at Should be reading, this meme asks you what great books did you hear about/discover this past week? Every week, I post three selections, and choose one among them as my pick to read, should I choose among the three books.

Another week of some really great finds - some truly new, some reiterated.


I've been reminded repeatedly by Barnes and Noble, and Borders that this is THE new bestseller, and that I should put in my order right away. I guess they did succeed in getting me to make this my top pick this week, but I'm trying, really trying not to buy it, telling myself all those well-meaning dialogues about too many books at home, and busy till the end of year, etc. The synopsis sounds too exciting, and I'm already itching to read it and find out what happens. I already have $150 worth in gift cards (which apparently I'm saving for a rainy day or a possible apocalypse) - I just might cave in.
In the late 1970s in rural Mississippi, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county—and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town. More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they've buried and ignored for decades.

Great House by Nicole Krauss

I just love this cover. That alone is making me want to pick it up and read it. I heard of this one first on a podcast (Sorry, I forgot which one - I have to do a better job of keeping track). And then I've been seeing it cropping everywhere!
For twenty-five years, a solitary American novelist has been writing at the desk she inherited from a young poet who disappeared at the hands of Pinochet's secret police; one day a girl claiming to be his daughter arrives to take it away, sending her life reeling. Across the ocean in London, a man discovers a terrifying secret about his wife of almost fifty years. In Jerusalem, an antiques dealer is slowly reassembling his father's Budapest study, plundered by the Nazis in 1944.

These worlds are anchored by a desk of enormous dimension and many drawers that exerts a power over those who possess it or give it away. In the minds of those it has belonged to, the desk comes to stand for all that has disappeared in the chaos of the world-children, parents, whole peoples and civilizations.
Hiroshima in the Morning by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

Another cover love here. (Are books really getting dressed in better covers nowadays or am I just happening to pick the ones with good covers?) This sounds like a wonderful memoir to me.
In June 2001, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto went to Hiroshima in search of a deeper understanding of her war-torn heritage. She planned to spend six months there, interviewing the few remaining survivors of the atomic bomb. It is her first solo life adventure, immediately exhilarating for her, but her research starts off badly. Interviews with the hibakusha feel rehearsed, and the survivors reveal little beyond published accounts. Then the attacks on September 11 change everything. The survivors' carefully constructed memories are shattered, causing them to relive their agonizing experiences and to open up to Rizzuto in astonishing ways.

Separated from family and country while the world seems to fall apart, Rizzuto's marriage begins to crumble as she wrestles with her ambivalence about being a wife and mother. Woven into the story of her own awakening are the stories of Hiroshima in the survivors' own words. The parallel narratives explore the role of memory in our lives and show how memory is not history but a story we tell ourselves to explain who we are.

8 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Great picks! I'm really excited about Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.

Helen's Book Blog said...

Hiroshima in the Morning sounds really good. I keep meaning to read Hersey's Hiroshima. I think I'll check it out for this weekend...thanks for the prompting

Mary said...

I've seen a lot of buzz about all of your finds. Most especially, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.

nomadreader said...

I've got ARCs of all three on my shelf. I think Great House is up first!

Feathered Quill Book Reviews said...

Great picks, I've got a couple of those on my shelf. Here are my picks:
http://is.gd/g3nm2

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great picks :)

Happy Friday!

Cat said...

Great finds - these all sound wonderful.

Lynne said...

$150 in gift cards! You need to do some book buying`, girl! Hehe. All of these look like great reads. I keep seeing Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter around!