Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Books on the Brain, part 4

I'm a little behind on this.

I know you're not surprised.

I've just been a in a little funk (okay, I've been in several little funks, but I'm refering to one specific funk here) when it comes to non-fiction books: nothing looks good. So I keep looking and looking for something to really capture my attention. No dice. So, for my non-fiction selection, I'll go for something a little older that has been hanging out on my list of books to read for a while. And we'll call that good.

Fiction
These Girls: A Novel
Sarah Pekkanen

From the publisher: Cate, Renee, and Abby have come to New York for very different reasons, and in a bustling city of millions, they are linked together through circumstance and chance.

Cate has just been named the features editor of Gloss, a high-end lifestyle magazine. It’s a professional coup, but her new job comes with more complications than Cate ever anticipated.

Her roommate Renee will do anything to nab the plum job of beauty editor at Gloss. But snide comments about Renee’s weight send her into an emotional tailspin. Soon she is taking black market diet pills—despite the racing heartbeat and trembling hands that signal she’s heading for real danger.

Then there’s Abby, whom they take in as a third roommate. Once a joyful graduate student working as a nanny part time, she abruptly fled a seemingly happy life in the D.C. suburbs. No one knows what shattered Abby—or why she left everything she once loved behind.

Pekkanen’s most compelling, true-to-life novel yet tells the story of three very different women as they navigate the complications of careers and love—and find the lifeline they need in each other.
 
Why it caught my eye: I'm a sucker for books about female friendship. When the time is right, I'm also a sucker for a fast read. This is the type of book that will fit both requirements quite nicely. Plus, I have this feeling that it would be an excellent accessory to compliment a bikini and sunglasses. Summer days on the deck with a good book? Bring it on.
 
Non-Fiction
'Tis: a Memoir
Frank McCourt

From the publisher: Frank McCourt's glorious childhood memoir, Angela's Ashes, has been loved and celebrated by readers everywhere for its spirit, its wit and its profound humanity. A tale of redemption, in which storytelling itself is the source of salvation, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Rarely has a book so swiftly found its place on the literary landscape.


And now we have 'Tis, the story of Frank's American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur. Frank lands in New York at age nineteen, in the company of a priest he meets on the boat. He gets a job at the Biltmore Hotel, where he immediately encounters the vivid hierarchies of this "classless country," and then is drafted into the army and is sent to Germany to train dogs and type reports. It is Frank's incomparable voice, his uncanny humor and his astonishing ear for dialogue that renders these experiences spellbinding.

When Frank returns to America in 1953, he works on the docks, always resisting what everyone tells him, that men and women who have dreamed and toiled for years to get to America should "stick to their own kind" once they arrive. Somehow, Frank knows that he should be getting an education, and though he left school at fourteen, he talks his way into New York University. There, he falls in love with the quintessential Yankee, long-legged and blonde, and tries to live his dream. But it is not until he starts to teach, and to write, that Frank finds his place in the world. The same vulnerable but invincible spirit that captured the hearts of readers in Angela's Ashes comes of age.

Why it caught my eye: It has been three years since I read Angela's Ashes. It sat on my bookshelf for years before I finally decided to give it a try and, when I did, I adored it. I loved it. I loved everything about it. I should read it again. But, first, I should read the other books my Frank McCourt and this, of course, is one of them.

2 comments:

Kari said...

I just requested these girls from the library! Read 'Tis a number of years ago -- might need to reread it!
Thanks for the book recs!

K

Mrs. Architect said...

I don't think I could do 'Tis. My mom loved Angela's Ashes so much that she bought it for me because she wanted me to read it SO bad. Talk about a beating! I had such a hard time trudging through the language and trying to figure out what they were saying, and overall found it to just be a depressing story that never got better. And I never felt like it had a "point". ALmost like it was a glimpse in one's life, but there wasn't really a reason behind reading about it, other than saddness and depression and bad after bad after bad.

I do fully realize I am 1/1,000,000 bc everyone else seems to have loved it, so I guess I just somehow missed what everyone else saw. Which is difference bc I usually tend to love what the masses do.

 
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