Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative! If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!
Rather than share new words today, I’m going to highlight one that is bandied about a lot this time of year: gratitude.
grat·i·tudeˈgratəˌt(y)o͞od/noun1.the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Amir is a Muslim American of South Asian origin. He’s lived in the US so long his speech is unaccented. He’s married to Emily, a Christian American. Emily is an artist who is fascinated with Muslim art and uses it for inspiration in her own work. In an effort to fit in, Amir has distanced himself from his religion and doesn’t understand Emily’s fascination with it. In the meantime, his nephew is making an effort to get back to his religious roots.
When Emily’s work is featured in an art show, she invites the art dealer and his wife to their apartment for dinner. The art dealer is Jewish and, when the conversation turns to religion, things get heated and secrets are revealed.
Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar, is the first play I’ve read in ages and now I’m wondering why. This play won the Pulitzer Prize for good reason. It is mesmerizing and thought provoking and simply outstanding! Akhtar writes about subjects that are usually taboo – religion, politics, and sex – and while it is uncomfortable at times, it is always fascinating. This play has stayed in my mind for a long time.
I listened to the audio production of Disgraced and I cannot rave enough about how good it is. Read by a cast including Aasif Mandvi, January LaVoy, and Kevin T. Collins, it was like experiencing the play without the visuals. The stage directions are read but the rest of the play is performed and it is not to be missed! After I listened to this, I understood why people enjoyed listening to radio shows years ago. This audio is exceptional and should be experienced by everyone – it’s perfect for experienced and beginning audio listeners.
Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. November’s host is Crystal of I totally paused! This fun meme needs a new home – if you’re interested, please contact Marcia. Even though Thanksgiving is late this year, it’s snuck up on me. The only thing I’ve done to get ready for it is buy a turkey breast. It will only be the three of us, though, so things will be low-key and my preparations won’t be too complicated. Here are the books that showed up in my mailbox last week:
- The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book by Emily Elsen & Melissa Elsen came from Hachette
- Shake by Carli Davidson came from Harper Collins
- Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr came from Random House
- The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy came from Random House
- The Double by George Pelecanos came from Hachette
Did you find any goodies in your mailbox last week?
Carl and I popped into Malaprop’s last weekend during our Asheville getaway and I spotted this fun display. I didn’t buy one of the books but now I wish I had. There’s always next time!
Saturday Snapshot was started by Alyce of At Homes With Books and is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Melinda’s site.
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a collection of seven short stories by Roald Dahl and there’s not a stinker in the bunch. As you would expect, I enjoyed some stories more than others but thought they were all worth reading. Even though this is a children’s book, I think adults will enjoy the nuances of the stories and some children will be bothered by the dark nature of some of the stories.
My favorite story is The Boy Who Talked With Animals. When some fishermen capture an ancient turtle, a resort hotel wants to drag it ashore so they can make turtle soup and get the tortoise shell. A young boy who happens by convinces them to do otherwise. The title story, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, was probably my second favorite. Henry Sugar can see without his eyes and uses his skill to help others.
I listened to the audio version of this book and I thought Andrew Scott’s narration was okay. There were times when I felt his narration lacked expression so I had to remind myself to pay attention. The audio is on 6 CDs and lasts approximately 7 hours.
I will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site tomorrow.
Review copy provided by Penguin Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
Lily Hayes is studying abroad in Buenos Aires. She lives with a local host family and Katy Kellers, another American student who’s there for the semester. When Katy is found murdered, Lily is arrested for the crime.
Loosely based on the Amanda Knox story, Cartwheel, by Jennifer duBois is Lily’s story before and after the crime. Told from alternating points of view and shifting time frames, the book tells Lily’s story from many different perspectives. Even though she’s not very likeable, Lily is complex and fascinating.
I only knew the basics of the Amanda Knox story so I don’t know how closely this book mirrors it. I found Lily’s story fascinating and somewhat disturbing. She was charming, manipulative, selfish, and self absorbed and found herself in a very tough situation.
I really enjoyed duBois’s writing but didn’t love Cartwheel as much as I thought I would because I was disappointed with the ambiguous ending. (From what I understand, the Amanda Knox case ended much the same way.) I have to say that I think this book would make a great book club selection because of that ambiguous ending – there’s so much to think about and discuss! Even though this book wasn’t my favorite, I will certainly read another of duBois’s books because her writing is top notch.
I listened to the audio version of the book. Emily Rankin does a satisfactory job narrating this fourteen and a half hour audiobook.