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In all probability, I will not be posting again until Wednesday, June 2nd.

Tomorrow, I’m getting on a plane and heading to Tennessee to visit family.  I will be seeing my parents, siblings, the Nashville Parthenon, and hopefully this adorable face:

That’s my niece, daughter of my favorite brother.  (I am allowed to have favorites, right?)

Even though I grew up in middle TN, I am open to recommendations for book stores, yarn shops, restaurants, whatever.. in the area between Nashville, TN and Florence, AL.  I already hope to go to:  Bookman Bookwoman Used Books and Haus of Yarn (both in Nashville).  Bookman used to be my very favorite bookstore, until I moved to the Midwest and discovered Chicago’s Myopic Books, which is open till 1 AM most nights.

Tuesday, I will be heading back to the airport and I hope to safely see this:

That’s the Chicago skyline, as seen from the plane the first time I flew in.

I will leave you with only one book for Friday Finds this week, but it is one I’m quite excited to have found.

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier was reviewed by Heather over at “Age 30+ … a Lifetime of Books” last Friday.

She says:

“I was fascinating by the history of fossil hunting and the way accepted “facts” about fossils were beginning to change. The newly developing ideas of an ancient earth, the concept of extinction, the budding conflict between religion and science – all these topics were fascinating to me. Then there was the situation of women in society, the class distinctions, the concepts of property and propriety … there was just so much in this book that I loved!”

I’d seen this book around before, even admired the cover art, and then dismissed it completely for some reason.. without even reading a synopsis.  What kind of book lover am I?  Even though I’m not a huge historical fiction fan (okay, I haven’t actually tried a lot of historical fiction), Heather’s review made this one sound fascinating.  The storyline sounds great, the writing sounds great.. it all sounds peachy.  I’m going to try to get my hands on this one soon.

Have you read Remarkable Creatures?  Thoughts?  Link to your review?  Any recommendations for fun TN stuff to do?  Let me know!

Friday Finds at Should Be Reading

(Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading.)

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Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. Each Friday, bloggers are invited to post about potentially great books we’ve heard about/discovered this week.

Here are my finds:

The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff.  Jennifer reviewed this over at Rundpinne.  She says: “The reader is introduced to Greta and Einar Wegener, both painters yet with differing subjects, Greta paints portraits and Einar paints landscapes, yet each is devoted to supporting the other’s works, dreams and desires. In 1925 Greta needed Einar to don a pair of hose and shoes to finish a portrait, since Anna had canceled yet again, and during this session Lili was born. Ebershoff’s novel is very loosely based on the first transgender surgery performed in 1931 on artist Einar Wegener who became known as Lili Elbe.”

I have to admit, I’ve known about this novel since it first came out 10 years ago.  Because I bought it.  And read it.  I bought it for the cover (a different one, a painting), which was beautiful.  Only I was around 14 or 15, and so I’m not sure how much I was able to get out of it at the time.  So I’d like to read it again.  Thanks, Jennifer, for the reminder.


Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon by Chuck Palahniuk.  This was reviewed over at Fizzy Thoughts.  She says: “there is also plenty of information about where you can go to watch (and participate in) lewd movies (seriously people, there’s some weird shit happening in Portland), where to stay if you’d like to see a ghost, how to talk like a local, Santa hijinks, how to eat at the Apocalypse Café, and what Katherine Dunn (yes, the author of Geek Love) thinks of her fellow Portlanders (is that the right term?).”

 

I’d never heard of it, and I’m not really a Palahniuk fan.  (Okay, I’ve only read Fight Club).  But I am a fan of Katherine Dunn, so I’d like to pick it up just for her thoughts.


A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.  This was reviewed by Matt over at A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook.  He says: “A Fine Balance is a roiling swirl of humanity. Adopting the voice of an epic rather than polemic, the novel captures the sufferings of the outcasts and innocents who try to survive the “State of Emergency” in 1970s when, under Indira Gandhi, India becomes a country ruled by thugs who maim and kill for money and power. It depicts a time when bribery is rife, starvation ubiquitous, and artificial calamity incessant.”

 

I’ve seen this book around, and the cover both intrigued me and put me off, but I never really looked much farther than that.  Matt’s review put this firmly on my “to-read” list.  Thanks, Matt!


The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  This was reviewed by Carolyn at A Few of My Favorite Books.  She says: “At first it seems to remain just a normal sweet little English story, but gradually it ventures into some very unexpected ground, that seems much more like a Victorian sensation novel! […] For a while it becomes almost eerie, Emily seems trapped in this beautiful English country house, pregnant, with her husband gone off on a business jaunt to India, while the people who would have inherited her husband’s estate if he hadn’t gotten married or if she hadn’t gotten pregnant, come back from India and scheme to get the inheritance anyhow…”

 

My first book review on this blog was of Burnett’s The Secret Garden, which I just love.  I was unaware that she wrote any adult novels, and I’m really looking forward to seeing if it’s just as enjoyable.

Upcoming: Review of The Graveyard Book tomorrow, and East of Eden review to follow in a few days.

Friday Finds at Should Be Reading

Friday Finds is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. Each Friday, bloggers are invited to post about potentially great books we’ve heard about/discovered this week.

Here are my finds:

So Much For That

Connie (over at Constance Reader) enthusiastically reviewed Lionel Shriver’s book, So Much for That, last week.  The story goes like this: Shep, dreaming of moving to a developing country to live simply, saves for years for the move.  Once he feels his bank account is adequate, he tells his wife he’s quitting his job and moving.  She can go or not.  Unfortunately, she asks him not to go, revealing that she has been diagnosed with cancer and needs to keep his health insurance.  He sets aside his dream, and watches his savings dwindle as he pays for what his insurance policy won’t cover, which ends up being quite a bit.

I’ve not read, or even heard of Lionel Shriver, and I have to say I’m often wary of books “with an agenda.”  But Connie assures us that it’s not all about health insurance, that’s it has a lot to say about people, about dreams, about life.  I read the first couple of pages on amazon, and was fairly impressed.  It’s high up on my to-read list.  Thanks, Connie, for pointing me to it.


Impatient With DesireCaribousmom reviewed Gabrielle Burton’s Impatient With Desire last week.  Though the book title does nothing for me, the cover art is absolutely fantastic.  Kudos to the artist.

Apparently, the story mostly portrays the women of The Donner Party, a group of pioneers heading to California.  Delayed by the new route they took, they spent a long winter in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, many dying from illness and starvation, others resorting to cannibalism to survive.  Caribousmom’s review is fascinating, and I hope to be able to say the same thing about the novel eventually.


Over at Find Your Next Book Here, Jenners took a vacation.  When she returned, she said a few words about the books she read (on the beach!).

Admittedly, the Mister has been trying to get me to read Sarah Water’s Fingersmith for a couple of years.  But the Mister has a habit of getting me to read books that he is interested in (but hasn’t read) so that I can tell him about the book and he can decide if he should bother reading it.  So I often ignore his recommendations.

But Jenner’s glowing (perhaps it was all the sun) words about the book made me do a double-take.  Heading on over to amazon, I see that it is described like this:

“Fingersmith is the third slice of engrossing lesbian Victoriana from Sarah Waters. … This hypnotic suspense novel is awash with all manner of gloomy Dickensian leitmotifs: pickpockets, orphans, grim prisons, lunatic asylums, “laughing villains,” and, of course, “stolen fortunes and girls made out to be mad.”

Well, okay then.  Just don’t tell the Mister I’ll be reading it.


Troll: A Love StoryEva over at A Striped Armchair posted a fascinating review of Troll: A Love Story by Johanna Sinisalo.  Eva says: “It’s like a fable, thriller, meditation on sex and love and the morality of both, all stuffed into one slim book.”  I can’t describe the plot in any way that does justice to it, so go read Eva’s review!

I’ve put this one on hold at my library, and can’t wait to get my hands on it.

What books did you discover this week?