Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Books of trhe Month

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. This was a book club pick. I didn't want to read it. I haven't read a circus book since I read Circus Shoes in elementary school. But I actually enjoyed it, especially the part where the main character is an old man creating havoc in the nursing home. I'd give it a B.

The Orphaned Adult by Mark Angel. I've had this book for years; I bought it after my father died. I read it again because I'm writing an essay about the death of my mother, and I found it even more meaningful than before. Angel tells us all humans are destined to be orphans, then he tells us what those losses mean to us. Beautiful book, thought-provoking.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. An offbeat, delightful book. It won't appeal to everyone, but I loved it. It alternates between the viewpoint of a middle-aged concierge in a fancy Paris apartment building, who hides the fact that she's ultra-intelligent, and a twelve-year-old resident of the building, who plans to commit suicide on her 13th birthday. I know it sounds strange, but give it a try.

How We Age by Marc Agronin. I heard the author speak recently. He's a geriatric psychiatrist with a positive view of aging gleaned from years of working with nursing home residents.

Potluck: Community on the Edge of Wilderness by Ana Maria Spagna. This is a collection of essays about the author's life in a tiny village in Washington State. Ana Maria was my memoir teacher at Gotham. She's a marvelous writer and a creative teacher. Her life in the wild couldn't be more different than mine in urban Houston, but I get what she's saying. We all need community. We need people who are there to support us in times of trouble and to encourage us when we're feeling down. Her experiences will intrigue you and her truth will inspire you.


Kelly Hashway said... [Reply to comment]

You've been busy! I haven't read any of these, so I appreciate your comments on them.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I enjoyed 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog' and nice to read a french book in translation, if only to know what a french bestseller is.

I liked 'Water for Elephants' as well and even more for it being the product of a Nano 'write a novel in November' I believe.

Lynn Benoit said... [Reply to comment]

What a nice range of topics in your book reviews this month! Thank you, Thelma.

Bella said... [Reply to comment]

Thelma, "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" sounds divine! I love when you pair up unlikely characters. And a concierge in Paris? I'm already intrigued! :)


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