Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Finds

Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading.
 Here are a few new finds I discovered this week (on my TBR shelf). Have you read any of these? 
 
(amazon)....In the illustrious history of the theatrical Fishers, there are two Georges. One is a peculiar but endearing 11-year-old, raised in the seedy world of `70s boarding houses and backstages, now packed off to school for the first time; the other, a garrulous ventriloquist's dummy who belonged to George's grandfather, a favorite traveling act of the British troops in World War II. The two Georges know nothing of each other--until events conspire to unite them in a search to uncover the family's deepest secrets.

Weaving the boy's tale and the puppet's "memoirs," BY GEORGE unveils the fascinating Fisher family--its weak men, its dominant women, its disgruntled boys, and its shocking and dramatic secrets. At once bitingly funny and exquisitely tender, Stace's novel is the unforgettable journey of two young boys separated by years but driven by the same desires: to find a voice, and to be loved.

 (amazon)....Asked to write a series of articles on Southern Homes and Gardens for a New York Magazine, Strekfus Beltzenschmidt (the main character in The Bark of the Dogwood) chooses not only some of the plantations and historic residences the South is known for, but places of his youth, including the home he grew up in and those of his relatives that he visited as a child. The intended articles become in essence, short stories, which then grow into the main character’s memoirs about his turbulent and sometimes humorous childhood. The result is not only an ongoing battle with his boss over the magazine’s content and direction, but a painful journey into remembering the people and places of his past. The opening statement of his first story, "When I was six years old I became locked inside the home of Helen Keller," is a clue into this insightful book’s revelations about how we are all in some way, deaf, dumb, or blind, if not literally, then at least spiritually or emotionally. The stories serve as chapters themselves in the novel, expertly intertwined with the modern day world of publishing in New York--each chapter commenting on the other and linked in ways that only become obvious as the reader digs deeper into the novel.

The Bark of the Dogwood is a dazzling display of virtuosity, combining rollicking humor and insights into human nature with a tale of horror and family secrets surpassing even the most Gothic Southern novel. The end result is a massive undertaking that works on several levels—so many, that it is up to the reader to decide just how deep he wants to delve into the colorful cast of characters whose lives are inextricably intertwined.
 

(amazon).... Plunked down in the shabby Alpha Hotel on an unidentified island somewhere off the English coast with a deceptively ordinary group of misfits, James Watson Bolsover is provided the opportunity to reflect on the odd twists and turns that have brought him there. A quietly unremarkable middle-aged man, Bolsover realizes that the motivation for the few exceptional things he has done in his life are clear only in hindsight. Following his parents’ deaths, for starters, Bolsover was saved from bland obscurity by Kitty, a fragile, ethereal beauty who astonished everyone—not least of all Bolsover himself—by falling in love with him. Her death at an early age, however, set into motion a string of transformative events that culminated in an accident that earned Bolsover the bloodthirsty attention of a vengeful mobster. Both spirited and restrained, Corrick’s exquisitely nuanced portrait of a man who must learn to make peace with the most essential aspects of his character is an enchanting and quixotic performance.

20 comments:

  1. By George sounds fascinating! I look forward to reading your review.

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  2. Memoirs of a puppet? Now that intrigues me. Good finds, Diane!

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  3. These are all new to me! I think The Bark of the Dogwood sounds good. Great finds, Diane.

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  4. By George is particularly interesting! I have to look that one up!

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  5. I have another book by Wesley Stace called Disgrace, though I have not yet read it. I have heard that he is a great writer. I hope you get a chance to read these!

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  6. Stopping by from the Book Blog Hop!

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  7. All of these sound wonderful, but especially The Bark of the Dogwood - and what a beautiful cover & title! Speaks to me!

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  8. Stopping by on book blog hop - great blog! Now a follower.

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  9. The last one sounds good to me. Thanks for sharing. I love these Friday Finds. I always end up adding books to my never ending wish list!

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  10. Nice finds! I've had By George for a while - now I just need to read it.

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  11. By George has the creepiest cover but it does sound rather interesting. You found some good ones because I don't think I've seen any of these before.

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  12. The cover for By Chance is beautiful.

    More titles for me to add to my list :)

    Have a great weekend!

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  13. Hi
    I loved By George! Have you read his latest one? BTW: I found you at the blog hop, and you have a nice blog.

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  14. I haven't ever read anything from the viewpoint of something inanimate like a ventriloquist's dummy. I would imagine it would take some good writing to pull off. I'm curious about that one now.

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  15. The covers are absolutely awesome. I want them for that alone. More to add to my list.

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  16. I'm a sucker for southern novels - The Bark of the Dogwood sounds great. Thanks for introducing it to me!

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  17. Thanks for stopping by. Reading by the sea sounds really good.

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  18. Love your book blog site, can't wait to read some of your book picks.
    Kelly Bookend Diaries
    http://bookenddiaries.blogspot.com

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  19. I love that book cover and I am jotting down the title now...this kind of book intrigues me.

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