Saturday, March 4, 2017

Books Read - Week in Review - 3/4/2017




AT the MOVIES

Lion is one of those movies that would be difficult for viewers not to be moved by in some way.  I found the beginning especially sad.  Based on a true story of Saroo Brierley, who was separated from his family at the age of five. The movie begins with his tragic separation and later his quest to find his real family over a period of 25plus years. The young boy part was played by Sunny Pawer, who was just incredible as was the adult role played by Dev Patel.  Nicole Kidman plays his adoptive Aussie mother (she was excellent as well). (Must See)

BOOKS READ (this week)















Behind Closed Doors; BA Paris
St Martins Press - (eGalley) 2016
Audio (library) - Macmillan (Narrator Georgia Maguire - very good)

(My Thoughts) - Who hasn't met what seems to be that perfect couple, they have money, looks and class. Jack is a successful lawyer and Grace a stay at home wife, gardener and protector of her disable sister.  The couple seems to love to entertain but it's not easy to get Grace away from Jack, to get to know her better, in fact it's impossible. Although still newlyweds, Jack has taken total control over Grace and she doesn't get to leave the shuttered, gated house with tall shrubbery that Jack has purchased for her.  Unless she is with him, she is a prisoner in her own home, no cell phone or means of communication unless Jack is in earshot.  Jack is seriously disturbed and as the plot unfolds things take a very bizarre and sadistic turn.  The audio book was well done but disturbing to listen to at times. This debut, psychological thriller will disturb some readers but, I found it difficult to put down. (4/5 stars)





Everything Happens Today; Jesse Browner
Europa Editions - 2011
(Print edition - my shelves)


(My Thoughts) - Wes is the lovable, seventeen year old protagonist of this novel. He attends the prestigious Dalton school in Manhattan.  Wes is there on scholarship and lives in a run down house in Greenwich Village with he terminally ill mother, a father who brings his girlfriend home, and his younger sister Nora, who he is very protective of. As the novel begins we learn that Wes has lost his virginity to the wrong girl and is sure he has ruined his life. In addition he has a major assignment on War and Peace due on Monday and he wants to cook a special meal in hopes of having all of his family together and happy.

What a delightful read and protagonist you'll root for. The entire novel takes place in a single day and since Wes is a literary lover, the novel has loads of literary references, some serving as metaphors for the things he is dealing with. There's some touching scenes when he spends time caring for and talking with his ailing mother which really moved me. I loved Wes and think this novel will stay with me for a while.  (4.5/5 stars)

















Agnes; Peter Stamm
Other Press - 2016 - translated from the German)
(review copy)

(My Thoughts) - I read this novella in a few hours but, it took me a while to sort through my thoughts.  We learn immediately that the title character, Agnes, has been "killed by a story".  Our unnamed narrator, meets Agnes in the Chicago Public Library.  The narrator is a failed writer who has been trying to write a book about locomotives. He is cold, aloof and unlikable, but, from the time he sees Agnes, he is attracted to her. Agnes is working on a research project and suffers from an anxiety disorder and seems obsessed with death. Before long the two begin a relationship. Since the narrator (first person) is cool and unexpressive, Agnes asks him to write a story about her so she knows what he thinks of her. Each has different memories of what has occurred in their relationship and he, in turn, writes how he sees her life playing out. The ending is somewhat vague, and left open to interpretation IMO, but, for me that was okay as I really liked this odd little offering -- lots of interesting excerpts to ponder. Somewhat haunting; very different (4/5 stars)

What I'm Reading 
(listening to now)



















First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First Ladies; Kate Anderson Brower
Harper Audio - 2017 (Read by Karen White - very good)


Have a Great Weekend All!

24 comments:

  1. I read A Long Way Home based on The Lion and loved it. I had planned to see the movie the other day but didn't get to. Hopefully I'll go see it within the next week.

    The Browner book looks good to me.

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    1. Yes, I saw and think I commented on your review. I'd like to try the book as well.

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  2. I have BEHIND CLOSED DOORS in print, but have not read it yet. Have certainly seen a lot of talk about it. And I have FIRST WOMEN on audio. I listened to the author's previous book, THE RESIDENCE, and liked it a lot. Bet this one is just as good and I've always been very interested in the First Ladies. Have a good week, Diane!

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    1. Kay, I'm going to be starting The Residence soon as I just finished First women today -- glad u liked it. Be sure to try Behind Closed Doors.

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  3. I had hoped to see Lion this week but it didn't work out. I have a feeling it'll be gone from the theater by the time I have a chance to see it. :/

    I loved Behind Closed Doors in print - as far-fetched as it was, it felt like it could happen to me.

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    1. The Lion is amazing -- just amazing. Behind Closed Doors was a bit far fetched -- but wow.

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  4. I had meant to go see The Lion last week but the plans fell through. That is good to hear!

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  5. The Lion does sound pretty good!

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  6. I want to see The Lion! Hope it comes to my theater. If not Red Box or Netflix!

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    1. I wish the Oscar nominees would stay around longer after Oscars.

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  7. What a good week of reading you had! I too missed Lion in the theaters and will have to wait for the DVD but I am longing to see it.

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    1. Speaking of First Ladies, have you seen Jackie? Very good I thought.

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    2. The Lion is a movie I hope you will get to see. As for Jackie, I'd like to see that as well! I just finished listening to First Women and had no idea that Jackie was only 31 when she was a first lady! JFK was 12 years older than her and also John John was born just 2 months before moving into the White House.

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  8. Diane, you had a good week of reading! I really want to see Lion. Enjoy your weekend.

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    1. Thanks, I was happy with my reading week. I do hope that you get to see The Lion.

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  9. I found Behind Closed Doors a very addictive read and look forward to reading more from the author.

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    1. As I agreed with Kathy, the plot was a little far fetched but to chilling and addictive.

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  10. I thought Behind Closed Doors was an outstanding thriller, especially on audio. I had some scary dreams while I was reading it! I can't wait to read the next release by Paris.

    Hope you're having a great weekend. Life is hectic around here and I may have to go on a temporary blogging break until summer.

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  11. Yes, the audio was well done IMO. I'm also looking forward to her 2017 release. have a great weekend.

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  12. I loved Behind Closed Doors...and Everything Happens Today sounds good. I would love to see Lion...I always enjoy Nicole Kidman's performances, and the previews I've seen of the movie are emotionally gripping.

    I'm also curious about First Women. Thanks for sharing...and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. First Women was great; much was an eye opener for me.

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  13. Such an eclectic sampling of books--how wonderful!
    I'm really curious about the novel about Wes--Everything Happens Today. I'll look that one up for sure, immediately.
    Judith

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