Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Finds

This is going to be one jam-packed Friday Finds. According to my meticulously-managed Good account, here are the books I "found" this week...

The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez - This one I was led to by Bookopolis' post during last week's Friday Finds post. The summary states, "Columbia University, 1968. Ann Drayton and Georgette George meet as roommates on the first night. Ann is rich and radical; Georgette, the narrator of The Last of Her Kind, is leery and introverted, a child of the very poverty and strife her new friend finds so noble. The two are drawn together intensely by their differences; two years later, after a violent fight, they part ways. When, in 1976, Ann is convicted of killing a New York cop, Georgette comes back to their shared history in search of an explanation. She finds a riddle of a life, shaped by influences more sinister and complex than any of the writ-large sixties movements. She realizes, too, how much their early encounter has determined her own path, and why, after all this time, as she tells us, I have never stopped thinking about her."

Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin by Norah Vincent - This book was featured in an article on, and it caught my eye. This woman will go through some insane things (pun intended) for a story, and her voluntary commitment to three different mental health facilities (public, private, and "forward-thinking") for treatment of depression sounds interesting.

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson - Got this one off a tip from Fleur Fisher's Teaser Tuesday post with a bit of witty dialogue teased. The summary says, "Set in the easternmost region of Norway, Out Stealing Horses begins with an ending. Sixty-seven-year-old Trond has settled into a rustic cabin in an isolated area to live the rest of his life with a quiet deliberation. A meeting with his only neighbor, however, forces him to reflect on that fateful summer."

So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger - Another gem picked up via the Teaser Tuesday posts, this one courtesy of Scobberlotch. The summary is, "So Brave, Young, and Handsome begins with Becket, a struggling novelist bewildered by the success of his first book, who has pledged to his wife, son, and publisher to "write one thousand words a day until another book is finished." Four years and six unfinished novels later, Becket sits on the porch of his Minnesota farmhouse about to give up on number seven, when he spies a man standing up in his boat "rowing upstream through the ropy mists of the Cannon River." Eager to set aside his waning tale about handsome ranch hand Dan Roscoe, Becket calls out to the mysterious white-haired boatman and his life changes forever." [I love a book about a writer.]

Vince and Joy by Lisa Jewell - Picked up this recommendation from my Page-a-Day Book Lover's Calendar. On March 1, I pulled off a page that said, "If you haven’t OD’d on Valentine’s Day, try this classic love story about perennial love. Vince and Joy were each other’s first kiss, first love, first hit to third base—well, you get the idea. Separated by time and distance and a good-bye note that Vince couldn’t read because the rain washed away the writing, the two have met again after almost 20 years. The attraction is still irresistible, but what of Joy’s pending marriage and Vince’s child by another woman?"

Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton - This one came from the fine folks at the 5 Minutes for Books blog. They write, "I want to say this book was bizarre, but I fear that has a negative connotation which I don't want to convey. These characters are funny, strange, realistic and surreal all at the same time, and the storyline is most definitely unique. A wife who wishes to be a writer (even the impetus for that longing is odd), helps to orchestrate an intimate relationship between her husband and a local news radio personality whom she has long admired, all as a type of character study for the great American romance novel she desires to produce. As weird as that may sound succinctly spelled out, the actual telling of the story is stranger still, yet as a whole I found the book to be so readable and believable in its unbelievability. A contradiction? Perhaps, but this book is a hodgepodge recipe of contradictions- attachment alongside detachment, reality within surrealism, truth and delusion woven together."

So... that's what I found this week. How about you? Drop a comment or link up over at the Should be Reading blog.


Kim said...

Out Stealing Horses is sure popping up a lot lately. I am thinking I maybe need to check this one out too.

Marg said...

Out Stealing Horses was my Tuesday Teaser post for last week as well! I really liked the book a lot.