Thursday, September 23, 2010

Friday Finds and Stuff



Has anyone read American Music by Jane Mendelsohn? It sounds really good but have not seen anyone blog about it (that I can recall).

About the Book---
From the author of I Was Amelia Earhart, a luminous love story that winds through several generations—told in Jane Mendelsohn’s distinctive mesmerizing style.

At its center are Milo, a severely wounded veteran of the Iraq War confined to a rehabilitation hospital, and Honor, his physical therapist, a former dancer. When Honor touches Milo’s destroyed back, mysterious images from the past appear to each of them, puzzling her and shaking him to the core.

As Milo’s treatment progresses, the images begin to weave together into an intricate, mysterious tapestry of stories. There are Joe and Pearl, a husband and wife in the 1930s whose marriage is tested by Pearl’s bewitching artistic cousin, Vivian. There is the heartrending story of a woman photographer in the 1960s and the shocking theft of her life’s work. The picaresque life of a woman who has a child too young and finds herself always on the move from job to job and man to man. And the story of a man and a woman in seventeenth-century Turkey—a eunuch and a sultan’s concubine—whose forbidden love is captured in music. The stories converge in a symphonic crescendo that reveals the far-flung origins of America’s endlessly romantic soul and exposes the source of Honor and Milo’s own love.

A beautiful mystery and a meditation on love—its power and its limitations—American Music is a brilliantly original novel. 

 Then this one just caught me eye, after I was discussing Shutter Island with a coworker.
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Medical historian Porter authoritatively traces how Western culture has explained and treated insanity. Holes bored in 7,000-year-old skulls indicate the earliest assessment of madness as spirit-possession. The ancient Greeks and medieval and Renaissance philosophers influenced by them replaced possession with irrationality as the cause of madness and exorcists with physicians as its curers. The Enlightenment stressed folly as the mark of madness; romanticism reacted by considering genius akin to madness. Asylums arose to secure the insane for their own good, and newly emergent psychiatry developed several ostensibly successful asylum strategies. As asylums became overloaded with incurables, however, disillusionment induced underfunding. Freud and his spawn came to psychiatry's rescue, but madness persists despite a century of psychoanalysis and of listening increasingly to what the insane say about their conditions. New drugs quash symptoms but have undesirable side effects, including dependency. Meanwhile, the medical profession is divided about the legitimacy of psychiatry.
 

I've finished (3) books since last weekend, but no reviews yet ---don't you hate that part sometimes? To me, sometimes it even takes the fun out of enjoying the book. Here's what I read and enjoyed  (each very different from one another).
Hopefully, this weekend, I'll catch up a bit as I do have some rough drafts.  Hope you are having a good week.

16 comments:

  1. I haven't seen any reviews of American Music either, but it sure sounds good.

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  2. I am a major Hemingway fan of late since going through a spurt of his books this summer in preparation for the Key West Contest, so I can't wait to hear your thoughts on A Sun Also Rises!

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  3. American Music sounds good to me too! I hope your reviews do get done :)

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  4. I too have not seen any reviews for American Music. I've always tried to find We have always lived in a castle but couldn't. Waiting for your reviews on both.

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  5. I haven't heard or seen American Music either. I'm anxious to see what you think of Ape House. Alot of my friends have been waiting for that book to come out. Have a great weekend!

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  6. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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  7. Madness:A Complete History looks fascinating. I also have a backlog of reviews just waiting to be posted.

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  8. Reviews are hard to fit in sometimes, but I can't wait to hear about the three you read. Especially Sara Gruen and Shirley Jackson.

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  9. Sometimes I have a hard time reviewing classics. Like I never got around to Alice in Wonderland books or The Old Man and the Sea. I also have a hard time with memoirs because well, who am I to judge?

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  10. The Sun Also Rises is my all time favorite Hemmingway book. It also contains one of my favotite lines when Jake tells Brett that "it is pretty to think so." I have used that quote many times in real life.

    If you ever visit Key West make sure to stop in at the Hemmingway House there. I think he may have written it there.

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  11. Diane, I look forward to your reviews, but don't feel pressured to do them right away. I'm sure they will be worth the wait. Enjoy your weekend!

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  12. Great finds. Madness sounds really interesting.
    I hadnt heard of American Music.
    Enjoy your weekend, cute sock monkey!

    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

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  13. I feel the same way sometimes about trying to write down my thoughts!!

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  14. Madness looks and sounds like a great informative book! I love it. I never heard of that one before.

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  15. I just requested American Music from my library. Hope it's good!!

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  16. This is the first I've heart of American Music. It sounds really excellent, though!

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