Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's Tuesday - How the Heck Did I Miss That Book?

I spent a few hours on Sunday browsing a local bookstore with my husband, and saw quite a few books that looked good (big surprise there). How did I miss these I wondered?  It's times like these that the trust camera feature on out phones comes in handy, so I snapped a few photos so that I'd remember the titles when I got home.  It wad then that a little light bulb went on in my brain, and I decided to try a new weekly (Tuesday) meme.


So the purpose of this Tuesday post will be to feature (1) or (2) books that I discovered and added to the ever expanding TBR list. Here are (2) of the books that caught my eye on Sunday. Each novel is under 300 pages, but they do seem like serious reads. I have not read any books set in Rhodesia or Morocco, so that it was appealed to me about these. The reviews I read seem very good as well. Have you read either of these?

 The Grass is Singing; Doris Lessing
(originally published in 1975)

(amazon) Set in Southern Rhodesia under white rule, Doris Lessing's first novel is at once a riveting chronicle of human disintegration, a beautifully understated social critique, and a brilliant depiction of the quiet horror of one woman's struggle against a ruthless fate.

Mary Turner is a self-confident, independent young woman who becomes the depressed, frustrated wife of an ineffectual, unsuccessful farmer. Little by little the ennui of years on the farm works its slow poison. Mary's despair progresses until the fateful arrival of Moses, an enigmatic, virile black servant. Locked in anguish, Mary and Moses—master and slave—are trapped in a web of mounting attraction and repulsion, until their psychic tension explodes with devastating consequences.

The Secret Son; Laila Lalami
(originally published in 2009)

(amazon) Raised by his mother in a one-room house in the slums of Casablanca, Youssef El Mekki has always had big dreams of living another life in another world. Suddenly his dreams are within reach when he discovers that his father—whom he’d been led to believe was dead—is very much alive. A wealthy businessman, he seems eager to give his son a new start. Youssef leaves his mother behind to live a life of luxury, until a reversal of fortune sends him back to the streets and his childhood friends. Trapped once again by his class and painfully aware of the limitations of his prospects, he becomes easy prey for a fringe Islamic group.

In the spirit of The Inheritance of Loss and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Laila Lalami’s debut novel looks at the struggle for identity, the need for love and family, and the desperation that grips ordinary lives in a world divided by class, politics, and religion. 

If anyone is interested in playing along please feel free. I don't think I'll run out of new surprise finds to add to my TBR list anytime soon, so I may make this a weekly event.

19 comments:

  1. I am sitting here thinking that the name Doris Lessing is familiar, so off I go to Google and discover I own a first edition of her book The Golden Notebook. It is a bit dusty and old but I do hope to read it soon.

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  2. Well, I have missed those as well!

    I LOVE the idea for the meme! Between visits to book stores and book blogs, I am constantly adding new-to-me books to the TBR list.

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  3. I haven't read either, but I've come across them both before.

    I was a big fan of Doris Lessing's Fifth Child and so have been meaning to read some more of her books soon.

    Secret Son was longlisted for the Orange prize this year - I almost read it, but people seem to think it is good, but not great. Perhaps you'll be the one to convince me it is worth getting?

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  4. Great idea...as long as I don't have to actually buy another book. EEK
    Are these just TBR on a list books?

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  5. They both look good! I have Secret Son, but haven't read it yet.

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  6. I've got The Grass is Singing in one of my TBR piles. It looks like it will be a really good one!

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  7. "How did I miss that?" - I feel that way all the time, reading other people's blogs and uncovering gems that I never knew about. I liked Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook when I read it forever ago--I liked her style, storytelling, and prose. Enjoy your finds!

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  8. I love the idea for this feature! I'll have to keep track of my picks and make it a meme when I find books. I haven't read either of those books, but I read a lot of Doris Lessing in college and always liked them. Secret Son was on the Orange Prize longlist this year, and I'm slowly making my way through that after reading the shortlist. Enjoy!

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  9. I bought a copy of The Grass is Singing at a book store a few months ago. It looks to be a great book. I will have to let you know!

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  10. This sounds like a fun meme and another one to participate in that will increase my WANT list to exponential numbers!! Those both look good and take place in countries that I haven't read about yet.

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  11. I hadn't heard of either of these either. I love the idea of snapping photos in the bookstore! Though my TBR list is so overflowing, I;ve been trying not to add anything at all unless it sounds like an A++, not-to-be-missed.

    Sue

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  12. I really like this meme and I am interested to read the Lessing book most of all.

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  13. Great idea for a meme. I feel like this all the time about books ... why did I never read "The Book Thief" before, for example. And the only Lessing book I read was "The Fifth Child" and it was not a good one for me.

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  14. Oh I got the Secret Son a couple of weeks ago - I need to read it!

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  15. Love this idea for this meme. Oh and also loving the new blog look (it must be way too long since I last visited, sorry!).

    I love both covers; they make me want to dive straight in between those pages. I have the Lessing book at home (with a boring cover) but haven't read it yet.

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  16. I loved The Grass is Singing, though it's been about thirty years since I read it. I hope you enjoy it too. I'll watch for your thoughts on the Lailami book. I haven't read her yet but it sounds like I should.

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  17. Sorry, meant to say I like the idea of this book meme. Hope it takes off for you.

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  18. +JMJ+

    I think this will make a great weekly event. Since I often discover "old" books long after they've been hyped up and read by everyone else, I'll definitely link up sometime. =)

    Anyway, I'm following you now so that I'll remember this in time for next Tuesday!

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  19. I love browsing the bookstore just to see what I come across.

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