Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Matt recommends "Wabi-Sabi"

"Wabi-Sabi," written by Mark Reibstein and exquisitely illustrated by Caldecott-winner Ed Young, is a rare treat: a children's book that can be enjoyed and treasured by adults as well as kids. The book tells the story of Wabi-Sabi, a Japanese housecat who embarks on a quest to discover the meaning of her name after she overhears her owner telling guests that “wabi-sabi" is a difficult concept to explain. She encounters several other animals along her journey, each of whom tries to describe the elusive subject in haiku. As she comes to an understanding of wabi-sabi, a Japanese way of thinking that finds beauty in simplicity, transience, and imperfection, she realizes her own simple, unique beauty. It's a lovely book that’s a pleasure to read and that introduces curious people of all ages to a new way of seeing and thinking about what’s beautiful.

Colette recommends some fresh short stories

Short stories are particular favorites of mine because they are usually "pure" and not overwritten: they tell a slice of life and get in and out without overdoing it.

"The Drowned Life" by Jeffrey Ford is a strange and wonderfully written collection of short stories - they are odd and dream-like...not in the lush and fantasy sense, but rather in the depiction of disjointed surreal events, out of sequence, fascinating and bizarre. These are well written; a pleasure to savor. Ford makes the reader contribute from his/her fund of knowledge/imagination in order to invest and enjoy the process more fully. This is the first work of his that I have read and I can hardly wait to read his novels.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Kara recommends "The Rest of Her Life"

This was a great read for a book discussion! The story deals with the relationship between a mother and her teenage daughter and the how the relationship is altered my misconceptions of each other; especially after the daughter accidentally kills someone while driving. The story is shown through the eyes of the mother, enlightening the reader by showing us how her own experiences shaped the way she chose to "mother" her children. Both characters surprise and relate to each other in the story.

Kara recommends "Slightly Single"

This is the first book in the "Slightly…" series about Tracey, a young woman finding her way through life and love in Manhattan. It is both funny and heartfelt, but continues to stay a "light".

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lisa recommends "Fire and Ice"

If you are looking for a fun romantic suspense book, Fire and Ice by Julie Garwood is for you. Sophie is the daughter of notorious Chicagoian Bobby Rose, while Jack is a member of the FBI. When they are forced to work together to solve the mystery and save the day, sparks will fly. Characters from Garwood's past books in the Buchanan series make reappearances. Once you get started reading, this is one you won't want to put down.

Recommended for adults.