September 03, 2007

September Book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Wynn told me that as the newest member of the bookitty-book-book club I could pick the book for September.
So I choose A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN by Betty Smith
In pre-World War I Brooklyn, young Francie struggles to keep her idealism alive in the face of grinding poverty, the comedies and tragedies of ordinary life. Her mother, Katie, is a realistic woman who works as a janitor in their tenement to make ends meet. Her father, Johnny, is an alcoholic singing waiter who is more of a dreamer. Along with her brother Neeley, the four of them live in a poor apartment inWilliamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC.
As someone who spends a lot of time in Brooklyn, I truly enjoy this book. I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to your comments.

August 07, 2007

August's Book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

C'mon, no intro needed!

What did you think? What did you like? Or hate? Or disagree with? Spoilers welcome.

And don't tell me you've been too busy reading Eclipse to comment...

June 08, 2007

June's Book: North and South Elizabeth Gaskell.

While Wynne is caught between houses and computers in her migration to Washington, Sharon and I are proposing a late choice for June: Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South. Now that the world has run out of Jane Austen novels to dramatize and the Brontë sisters' stories have been done to death (well, the decent ones, anyway), we're on the prowl for more exceptional female authors.

The answer: Elizabeth Gaskell. A friend of Dickens, Carlyle, Worthsworth, and Charlotte Brontë, Gaskell was known for writing in an array of genres, including ghost stories, fairy tales, romance, and social commentary (especially women's roles and class struggles of the new Industrial Age).

A special bonus: there's a recent BBC movie version of North and South that you can watch after reading the book. I haven't seen it, but Sharon says it's wonderful.

Here's the synopsis from Amazon:

North and South is a novel about rebellion. Moving from the industrial riots of discontented millworkers through to the unsought passions of a middle-class woman, and from religious crises of conscience to the ethics of naval mutiny, it poses fundamental questions about the nature of social authority and obedience. Through the story of Margaret Hale, the middle-class southerner who moves to the northern industrial town of Milton, Gaskell skilfully explores issues of class and gender in the conflict between Margaret's ready sympathy with the workers and her growing attraction to the charismatic mill ownder, John Thornton.

May 04, 2007

May's Book: The Kite Runner

If you're like me, you've heard about this book and have been meaning to pick it up and just haven't got around to it yet. Well, maybe now is the time.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

"...the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places
and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule. ('...I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.')"

And so on.

March 29, 2007

Marpril's Book: Twilight

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, is a love story. With vampires in it.

And before your nose can finish turning up at that description, I just have to mention how wholly addicting it is. Go ahead. Bet you can't read it just once. Here's a review from Amazon:

Meyer adds an eerie new twist to the mismatched, star-crossed lovers theme: predator falls for prey, human falls for vampire. This tension strips away any pretense readers may have about the everyday teen romance novel, and kissing, touching, and talking take on an entirely new meaning when one small mistake could be life-threatening. The novel's danger-factor skyrockets as the excitement of secret love and hushed affection morphs into a terrifying race to stay alive. Realistic, subtle, and succinct, Twilight will have readers dying to sink their teeth into it.
–Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library

January 25, 2007

February's Book: Wind, Sand, and Stars Antoine de Saint-Exupery

You can either say we forgot about January's book, or you can say we gave you a head start on February's book. We hope you're all glass-half-full type people, because this month we have a happy book...

Wind, Sand, and Stars is a celebration of flight by France's "Winged Poet," Antoine de Saint-Exupery, whose most famous book is The Little Prince. Saint-Exupery was a pilot his whole adult life, flying in the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and as a commercial pilot to exotic lands. He had to beg the French government to let him fly in WWII, as his writings had made him a "national treasure." He wrote several books about flying, and he ultimately disappeared over the Mediterranean while flying a reconnaissance mission to spy German troop positions.

Here's the synopsis from Amazon:
Recipient of the Grand Prix of the Académie Française, Wind, Sand, and Stars captures the grandeur, danger, and isolation of flight. Its exciting account of air adventure, combined with lyrical prose and the spirit of a philosopher, makes it one of the most popular works ever written about flying.