Our daughter is at the age when she is constantly asking us for the story behind things and whether things are “real.” Is Santa real? Unicorns real? Fairies? I haven’t quite figured out how to respond. Do I destroy her sense of wonder and fantasy or do I help her distinguish between fact and fiction? Usually I just mumble some noncommittal answer and try to change the subject. So imagine my pleasure when she asked if Winnie the Pooh was real and I actually had an answer for her — based on a book that had just been released. Read more
It’s been a while since both Book Worm and I have given the same book 5 stars. We are both fairly stingy with our 5-star ratings. So when a book comes along that gets 5 stars from both of us, we get very excited to share it with you. See why we thought it was so good and let us know if you loved it too! Read more
Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye was my favorite read of January and my first 5-star read of 2016. Find out why and let us know what you thought of the book. Read more
I have started 2016 on a good note with the completion of my first 2016 read: The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra. Find out why it was so good and let us know how the start of your reading year is going. Read more
The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson
Published in 2015. Part of the Hogarth Shakespeare Retold series
Reviewed by Book Worm
Rating 5 stars
Find it here: The Gap of Time: A Novel (Hogarth Shakespeare)
Amazon synopsis: The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s “late plays.” It tells the story of a king whose jealousy results in the banishment of his baby daughter and the death of his beautiful wife. His daughter is found and brought up by a shepherd on the Bohemian coast, but through a series of extraordinary events, father and daughter, and eventually mother too, are reunited.
In The Gap of Time, Jeanette Winterson’s cover version of The Winter’s Tale, we move from London, a city reeling after the 2008 financial crisis, to a storm-ravaged American city called New Bohemia. Her story is one of childhood friendship, money, status, technology and the elliptical nature of time. Written with energy and wit, this is a story of the consuming power of jealousy on the one hand, and redemption and the enduring love of a lost child on the other. Read more
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rusdie
Release Date: September 8 U.S and September 10 in U.K
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Jen
Pre-order your copy here: Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights: A Novel
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from netgalley (and Random House) in exchange for an honest review.
There is no question that Rushdie is a great story teller and his latest endeavor is no exception. One of the things that I love about his books is that they can be read on multiple levels. On the surface, they are entertaining stories that can be read for the sole enjoyment of the weird, wacky, and intelligently humorous ride. Yet, on a deeper level, his books are filled with symbolism, allusions, and often complicated philosophical questions that lead to a richer and more interesting reading experience. Read more
Book Worm is breezing through the Longlist books and will have more reviews to come soon. Next up is a book I recently finished: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Keep reading to find out what I thought and where it ranks among the 2015 longlist books we have read thus far. Read more
Until recently, my 4 (almost 5) year-old was convinced that princess was a viable career path. I remember receiving an email from her preschool about career day dress-up, requesting that parents explain to their children that princesses, mermaids, fairies, and pirates were not real career options. Interestingly many of the “problem careers” were stereotypically female. If you think about the children in your life, you may notice that little boys will rattle off real career options (albeit also highly gendered options) like fireman, builder, and policeman whereas girls tend to mention magical or false ones. While I don’t expect a preschooler to have his/her career path mapped out, but I find it curious that girls often aspire to futures that are untenable. I’m convinced that books and television have a large role in these early dreams. I spent years of my childhood convinced that I was going to be a detective thanks to Nancy Drew. Then thanks to my grandmother’s favorite TV show, I decided to become a lawyer. For the record, I became neither a detective nor a lawyer.
I say “until recently” because E’s career aspirations changed a few months ago after reading a book that one of our readers recommended: Rosie Revere, Engineer. Keep reading to see what Emma thought of the book. Read more
Welcome to our second guest review. Periodically, we will feature guest reviews and we will try to pick reviews for books and genres we don’t typically feature on our blog. For these posts, we will be picking books that our guest contributors have rated as among their favorites. We hope you that you enjoy these reviews and they lead you to pick up something new that you could also love. I’ll hand it off to Regina who will introduce herself and share one of her favorite non-fiction books. Read more
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
Published in: 2003
Translated from Japanese by: Stephen Snyder
Reviewed by: Jen
Rating: 5 stars
Find it here:The Housekeeper and the Professor
Every once in a while a book comes along that takes you by surprise. The Housekeeper and the Professor was one of those books for me. At only 180 pages the novel is short, simple, but emotionally touching and beautifully rendered. I picked this up because it has started to make the rounds in some of my reading circles. It was worth the buzz.
The book tells the story of a beautiful friendship between a housekeeper, her son, and a mathematics professor. In his youth, the Professor was involved in a tragic accident that resulted in his developing a form of anterograde amnesia. While he remembers events and people from prior to his accident, he is unable to encode new information. Every morning brings new introductions with the same questions. He wears a suit covered with pieces of paper to help him remember important facts. He spends his days immersed in mathematics, solving problems and sending them to various papers. When the Housekeeper is hired to take care of the Professor and his home, she and her 10 year old son become immersed in the Professor’s world of numbers. They grew to love the Professor and they learn to work around his memory deficits.
I found this to be a wonderful book. You can’t help but love the characters, especially the quirky Professor who makes math seem like the most exciting subject in the world. There are many math equations throughout the book but they are easy to follow and understand and they are integral to the emotions and events in the story. Who knew that math could be so interesting? The writing was simple and elegant but unpretentious. Not much happens in the way of plot because this is not a book about fast-paced adventures but rather one about quiet moments and meditation. I cried a little and smiled a lot. This was a special book that makes you contemplate the importance of living in the moment and appreciating the present. I highly recommend this book!
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? If not, does it appeal to you?
Want to try it for yourself? You can buy a copy here: The Housekeeper and the Professor