Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." - Mother Teresa

The Newsweek that arrived in my mailbox yesterday was the usual fall preview.
The book section was small, but encouraging.

First to pique my interest: Oliver Sacks’ Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.
I find Oliver Sacks fascinating; his explorations of the brain’s intricacy and quirkiness are always good reads – insightful, informative, and well-written. Generally starting out with the odd case study, he then dissects the whys and wherefores, as far as possible, of a relevant disorder. Good stuff. His latest book explores the intertwining of music and the brain; if not a perfect Christmas gift for my husband, at least a book he might enjoy, marrying the art and the science in a way his mathematician/musician brain will appreciate.

Alice Sebold, of Lovely Bones fame (I have not read it), and lesser Lucky fame (I have read it and found it powerful and scary), has a new book titled The Almost Moon. I am not yet convinced of Sebold’s powers as a writer, but I’d be willing to take a look.

Peter Hoeg’s newest, The Quiet Girl, features a clown as its protagonist. I HATE clowns. But if this book even comes close to touching the oddity of Smilla’s Sense of Snow, I might pick it up at the library.

Lynne Cheney has a book coming out titled Blue Skies, No Fences.
Back when I was a hormone-addled adolescent, I recall picking up somewhere a copy of a book called Blue Skies, No Candy by Gael Greene (my paperback had a different cover, though). Judging from the Amazon reader reviews, I was not the only sex-crazed teenager to discover and, uh, appreciate this book. I wonder if Mrs Cheney is aware of the title parallelism? I am guessing she is not, as Cheney would DEFINTELY not approve of Greene’s sexy book. You’d think an astute editor would have caught the title similarities and advised accordingly.

And last, but certainly not least and not mentioned in Newsweek but crossing my radar and engendering much discussion via email with my personal Catholic advisor (otherwise known as Joke): Mother Teresa’s correspondence, Come Be My Light, detailing among other things her decades-long crisis of faith. That this woman could continue the charitable work at which she labored for years in the squalor and poverty of India, while not feeling one iota of her God’s presence, is just amazing to me. I have a post brewing about this, so won’t say anything else till I have really hammered out my feelings and thoughts, but I definitely want to read this book.

And now I must grocery shop, as we have no food – or at least no bread, milk, yogurt, or bananas, which amounts to the same thing – in the house. And the grocery store is right next to the Barnes & Noble - even though I have a library copy of The Last Witchfinder and a secondhand copy of The Dante Club sitting on my nightstand.


Gina said...

Someone gave me a reader's copy of the Sebold, but I haven't touched it yet.

I will be all over that Mother Theresa book, though. You know me and my issues . . . maybe it'll help me.

KPB said...

you haven't read The Lovely Bones? You!?! The one who reads all those books all the time? I'm gobsmacked. I mean me, who since having Jasper in Oct 2005 has not read one book, has read it. It's like the smallest most nonsensical victory I've ever had.

darkorpheus said...

Oh, I was curious about the Oliver Sacks after his article in a rcent issue of The New Yorker where he wrote about people with brain damage who suddenly became musical genius. It's quite fascinating.

Kathy said...

I haven't read The Lovely Bones either although I did buy it in hardback for a couple of dollars. The Oliver Sacks book sounds really interesting.

teachergirl said...

The Lovely Bones creeped me out so badly, I threw it away.
I am really interested to hear what you and Joke have to say about Mother Teresa, though. This whole thing has given me pause.

Joke said...

The Lovely Bones weren't.


BreadBox said...

Are you sure Lynne Cheney wouldn't approve? I am pretty sure she would *claim* not to approve, but she is the author of "Sisters" after all! A novel described on Amazon as "sure to please everyone from fun loving fundamentalist Christians to plaid flannel dykes, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine."


nutmeg said...

I may be buried under a pile of stones for this, but I was underwhelmed by The Lovely Bones - I think it definitely should be put in the over-hyped basket.

And I also have to say that I gave The Dante Club the toss after a couple of chapters - if I remember correctly it was the writing style that put me off initially and then the story seemed to get bogged down real fast (it seems a few reviewers at TBD also felt that way too). I mixed him up with Anothony O'Neill who wrote The Lamplighter - which was very old England atmospheric - but the phantasmogorical ending left me a bit stunned. (Also have The Last Witchfinder to read!)

And I love Oliver Sacks - I will definitely check that one out.