Charlotte is a bookseller at LFP. She mostly reads literary fiction but will read anything. She is also an avid audio book listener and finds British crime novels soothing while doing Liberty jigsaw puzzles. When not mainlining literature she can be found rolling out pie dough in her home gf bakery, doing ceramics or playing in the water (weather dependent.)
I've stayed in my share of Best Westerns-- nothing special outside of their complete predictability and the pre-covid make your own waffle machine. But I have never crawled inside a cactus and talked to the childhood version of my dad, tried to get rabbits to source safe food or followed a mythical bird out of the desert. The main character's trippy adventure through the desert and through her fear and grief worked for me. She walks through the Valley but comes out the other side.
This book caught me completely off guard. The language is so spare and beautiful. While clearly set in modern times (there is mention of cell phones) I had the feeling of reading something timeless. I pictured the main character wearing a long muslin dress while binding figurines out of straw, taking care of chickens and scrubbing her brother's back. Her musings on being an outsider even a pariah whose religion and facial features instilled fear in her neighbors are also sadly timeless.
Please do not judge this book by its cover. The yellow scratched name, the reflection in the water have nothing to do with and are not evocative of the great mystery within. Colin Walsh is a master of the slow build, like a strip tease at half time; drawn out, titillating and ultimately revealing but not until the very last secret is in the open. In the meantime there are angsty wild teens, lonely adults, love, murder and corruption all wrapped up in a great slangy Irish package.
You know that thing when you learn a new word and then suddenly you see it everywhere? Like it had been there all along you just skipped over it because you didn't know what it meant. That's what this collection was like for me. Explorations and musings on many issues that touch my life: what is love, loss? what is home?, how do we define work as women?, how do we find meaning for our lives?, what can we do to be better stewards of our planet?
Thoughtful, readable and relatable.
LOVED IT! Big Angel is dying but the heart of this book is the celebration of a life filled with love. Love of family, passionate love and love of life. This is my favorite of Urreas' books and I would highly recommend listening to the audio. He truly reads the life into these characters that he obviously deeply loves.
Part memoir of a passionate scientist, part "Who knew" fascinating factoids about plant life, this book generated one of the best discussions my book club has had in years. Ambition, friendship, mental illness, science research funding, TSA rules, sexism, this book has so many facets to discuss and it's a great read.
This beautiful, semi-autobiographical collection of short stories delves into passion, alcoholism, work, family and death. Berlin's keen observations about her life and the world around her are sparingly told but are so evocative she makes the smallest moments emotionally huge. She writes of recklessness and addiction with honesty and without shame, allowing the reader to be with her characters in all their complexity. The 44 stories left me wanting more.