Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Finds

Friday Finds is  hosted by Should Be Reading.
I'm one of the readers who rarely would read the same book twice. In fact when I finish a book, I'll generally give it to a friend or family member, or donate it it the library......but like everything else there are exceptions.  Today's Friday Finds, I decided to feature (2) books that I have read twice, and I still have the books for a possible third read...crazy huh? Also, (1) book for consideration that I have not read yet.

The Book of Eve; Constance Beresford-Howe

This book was released in 1973, and is now out of print, but I still have a tattered paperback that I never parted with. I first read this book in the early 1980's; then again around 1990, a few years after my mom passed away. Why? Because in some ways this story reminded me of her life, but sadly she wasn't brave enough to walk away and ended up dying before my father...still unhappy with her self-imposed situation.
From what I remember, Eve was a Canadian woman in her mid 60's who made a life altering decision. Married over 40 years to a miserable and demanding man, on the day she begins to collect her own pension check, she boldly moves out without any warning taking very little with her. She gets herself a place of her own, and in Eves case, this is a basement apartment. Each day she becomes more and more comfortable in her new situation, and she soon realizes that "things" alone don't make for a happy life. .....(for me: time for a refresher once again)
Has anyone ever come across this book?  
 The Inn at Lake Devine; Elinor Lipman
I think this book was released in 1998, but it was just such an memorable read; great character development and setting.
(amazon)......In 1962 the Marx family of liberal Newton, Massachusetts, is politely discouraged from vacationing at a placid Vermont resort by a thinly veiled response to the innocent inquiry about accommodations, stating that the "guests who feel most comfortable here, and return year after year, are Gentiles." Experiencing her first taste of overt anti-Semitism, 13-year-old Natalie Marx becomes instantly obsessed with the Inn at Lake Devine and the seemingly bigoted family that owns and operates it. Wangling an invitation from friends to stay with them at the inn one summer, Natalie embarks on a humorously enlightening 10-year odyssey, entangling the course of her professional and romantic destiny with the lives of Ingrid Berry, the rigidly implacable proprietor of the inn, and her two naive and attractive sons, Nelson and Kris Berry. Skillfully interweaving the bittersweet narrative with threads of both tragedy and comedy, Lipman displays a healthy amount of empathy and affection for her flawed and slightly eccentric cast of characters.

Consider This, Senora; Harriet Doerr
(I haven't read this one, but saw it at the the librar, and it's now on my TBR list).

From the author of the American Book Award-winning Stones for Ibarra (1984): a novel that limns in lapidary prose a story of loss and renewal in a small Mexican village--a town transformed by Americans inadvertently ``into something more beautiful than it is.'' As in an old morality fable--without the moralizing--Doerr tells of four expatriates driven to seek refuge in a place so unfamiliar that its ``otherness'' will be the catalyst that restores them. When ``two irresolute Americans'' arrive in tiny Amapolas, set in the midst of a barren mesa, and together buy ten acres from the local grandee, the villagers observe them with curiosity and tolerance. But recently divorced artist Sue Ames and her unlikely business partner, Bud Loomis (on the run from the Arizona tax authorities), have different reasons for making the purchase: Sue hopes to live there forever, and Bud wants to restore his finances. Realizing, though, that they can't afford their houses unless they subdivide the land, they sell plots to the 79- year-old Ursula Bowles, a recent widow, who was born in Mexico and now wants to regain ``the brilliant patchwork of her never-ending past,'' and her twice-divorced daughter, Fran, who wants a house so that her Mexican lover can visit her. Over a period of five years, houses are built; droughts take their toll; locals in the Americans' employ prosper; and the four Americans begin to change: Sue realizes that she'd been too hasty in divorcing her husband; the now-dying Ursula accepts the loss of life and love (``an individual life is in the end nothing more than a stirring of air''); Fran, abandoned by her glamorous lover, meets a homely but dependable archaeologist; and Bud pays back his taxes and becomes a local benefactor. Wisdom and happiness prevail. A beautifully rendered novel in which the happy endings are more eloquent epiphanies than facile plot wrap-ups--and a second novel well worth the wait.
Have you read these books?


  1. I like the sound of the first two books the most. Isn't it nice to see some old favourites occassionally. I am waiting to see a 70's and 80's book revival soon.

  2. I've not heard of the first book, but have noted the title and author. The second book I had on my shelf at one time. I may still have it. I'll look around. It's one of the ones that sounded so good to me and then I never read it. Maybe it's time now. Thanks, Diane!

  3. The Inn at Lake Devine sounds really good. I rarely re-read books either.

  4. I remember hearing about The Book of Eve back in college... maybe it had a bit of a cult following back then? But it has completely dropped off my radar. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. The Book of Eve sounds excellent and like one that I might like to try. Thanks for sharing these books out of your past with us!

  6. Great finds! The Inn at Lake Devine looks particularly interesting to me.

  7. I liked your finds AND your new look! My find is at The Crowded Leaf.

  8. I put The Inn at Lake Devine on my wish list after reading a review some time ago, too. It sounds fabulous!

  9. I did read the Doerr book, and liked it very much. I liked the characters, the landscape, the story.

    Though I haven't read the book, it wasn't that long ago that the Lipman Inn was a reality. I pray it isn't still.

    I've read quite a few books more than once. Off the top of my head: Miss Read books, Dear Mr. Jefferson, Kaaterskill Falls, the Mrs. Pollifax books, A Nun in the Closet, many P.G. Wodehouse books, Back When We Were Grownups.

    Great posting!

  10. First -- love the new look!

    Second, I have never heard of any of the books you have spotlighted, but now I really want to read the Book of Eve. I hope I can find it on PBS or some secondhand shop. You highlight some terrific books!

  11. These all sound so wonderful. I haven't read any of them, but I do remember when Inn at Lake Devine came out. It is one that I wanted to read and just never got around to. And thanks for the reminder of The Book of Eve; another one that I wanted to read at one time.

    I have books that I'd like to re-read, but I rarely get around to re-reads because of the sheer quantity of new-to-me books already on my shelves or lists!

    By the way, love the picture of the cat reading a book on your sidebar.

  12. They all sound interesting. I have never re-read a book as an adult. But I do want to experience Harry Potter again!! Great choices!

  13. The Inn at Lake Devine sounds good! Good finds!

  14. I've never heard of or read any of these. The Book of Eve sounds interesting.

  15. The Inn at Lake Divine is one of the most hilarious books I've ever read, hands down! I've probably persuaded a dozen people to read it in the last 13 years, and that might in fact be my record-holder for most recommended (and most successful recommendation as alot of them will actually read it and everyone's loved it.) I have the shortest pitch for it ever: the funniest book about Anti-Semitism you'll ever read.

  16. Each of these sounds so good, Diane.

    I will be taking a short hiatus from blogging but will be back soon. :)

  17. Like Vivienne, I am drawn to the first two books. I also lost my mom around the same time as you lost yours. How ironic. I can't believe it has been almost 20 years. She died in 92. I'm putting this one on my wish list. The second book is interesting to me as the anti-Semitism felt by Natalie and her experiences at the Inn sounds like a good story.

  18. I loved The Inn At Lake Devine..seems the author's other books are more popular but this one is my favorite by glad you loved it too..Miss you Diane!

  19. The Inn at Lake Devine is such a great read. My favorite Lipman.


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