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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

Some bookish chatter - VABOOK, a movie trailer and the Orange Prize long list

Vabook festival
So who's going to or already attending the Virginia Festival of the Book? The VABOOK started yesterday at Charlottesville, which is just an hour from my place. I can't however head there during weekdays, so Saturday is probably the first day that I can make it. Unfortunately I'm not decided yet. Since I'm also missing BEA, I want to not miss this one at least, considering the proximity to my place. But there's a lot going on this weekend at home, so I'll probably decide only at the eleventh hour.

Did you hear about the movie adaptation of Lisa See's book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan? I read this book last year and loved it so much, so I'm really excited about it. Here's the trailer if you're interested in it. It looks good, doesn't it? I'm confused by the modernity that I see in it. Maybe that's reflective of the present, in which the protagonist, Lily is narrating the story, but this story is set in the 19th century and even when Lily is 80 years old, it can't have been the late 20th century, right? Unless China advanced pretty early.

Did you see the Orange Prize long list? There are few titles there that I'm really excited about.
  1. Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela
  2. Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch
  3. Room by Emma Donoghue
  4. The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi
  5. Whatever You Love by Louise Doughty
  6. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  7. The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna
  8. The London Train by Tessa Hadley
  9. Grace Williams Says it Loud by Emma Henderson
  10. The Seas by Samantha Hunt
  11. The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna
  12. Great House by Nicole Krauss
  13. The Road to Wanting by Wendy Law-Yone
  14. The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht
  15. The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
  16. Repeat it Today with Tears by Anne Peile
  17. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
  18. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin
  19. The Swimmer by Roma Tearne
  20. Annabel by Kathleen Winter
I've only read Room by Emma Donoghue, and it's not really the best piece of fiction that I've read lately. I'm however most excited about The London TrainAnnabelThe Tiger's WifeThe Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives and The Invisible Bridge. I plan to read these titles before the shortlist is announced. I know I can't do the whole list in time so I'm not even going to entertain any such thoughts. So which books are you excited about?

I know some of you read books on the long and short lists in anticipation of the awards, so I'd like to hear if you are considering it? I can probably live vicariously through you.


Carol Toomey said…
I'm in the process od sorting out the Orange Prize books and what my library has. I really enjoyed The Memory of Love and Lyrics Alley and The Tiger's Wife are two I'm looking forward to reading.
Juju at Tales of Whimsy... said…
FUN! I love these sort of events.
Misha said…
I am so excited about the movie adaptation of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan!
I have read a few from the Orange Prize longlist and added the rest to my TBR.
Playing Librarian said…
oh.. I really love The Invisible Bridge.
hcmurdoch said…
Oh, the Virginia Book Festival sounds like fun. The Los Angeles one is next month and I hope to get down there for it. I didn't know they made Lisa See's book into a movie, I am all over that!
My in-laws live close to Charlottesville and their out of town. If I'd been thinking, I would have come up to the festival and stayed at their house!
Nice trailer! I haven't read the book, but I'm going to look it up.
I think I only have heard of Room by Emma Donoghue. I keep seeing it at the bookstore.
Medeia Sharif said…
That list = more books for me to read.

I haven't read Lisa See yet. I hope to read the book and/or watch the movie.
PBurt said…
I thought the Invisible Bridge was okay - nothing special for me. And I could hardly finish The Birth of Love. I liked Room and loved Great House. Can't wait to read Tiger's Wife.
Vasilly said…
The Tiger's Wife, Swamplandia, and Annabel are on my tbr list along with The Memory of Love. I can't wait to get started on reading!
ashbrux said…
I have Swamplandia! but haven't read it yet. I've heard great things about Annabel however, and plan to read it soon.
Marg Bates said…
I am not sure about the adaptation of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan precisely because of the introduction of the modern storyline. Guess I will just have to reserve judgement for now!
Athira / Aths said…
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed The Memory of Love! I'm going to add that to my list too!
Athira / Aths said…
I'm so glad to hear that! One of my book clubs is reading that next month, so I'm really excited about it!
Athira / Aths said…
I can't wait to check out the movie either - I loved the book and watching it on a screen is going to be awesome!
Athira / Aths said…
I didn't know about the Lisa See movie either. I chanced upon it on a website. The trailer's well-done, right!
Athira / Aths said…
Awww.. I would still love it if you could make it. We could really meet up again! I'm excited about some of the books and authors at the festival!
Athira / Aths said…
Some of the titles are new to me. But overall, I'm really happy with this list - can't wait to read some of them.
Athira / Aths said…
"That list = more books for me to read." -> That's so right! My list just bloated after seeing that long list.
Athira / Aths said…
One of my book clubs is reading The Invisible Bridge next month. That's the first time I heard of it too, so I don't know what to make of it. I think I will still give it a try. I want to read Great House and Tiger's Wife too!
Athira / Aths said…
I'm on the fence about Swamplandia. I think it has to do with the croc on the cover, lol. I know, I shouldn't judge by appearance. I've had that book recommended to me many times - I should actually consider reading it.
Athira / Aths said…
I've hearing good things about Swamplandia and Annabel. I'm not yet sure about the former, but the latter, I really want to read.
Athira / Aths said…
I know - I'm upset about that modernity thing too. The book didn't have any reason for that, so I wonder how the movie-makers justify that.