"I need you to know how hard it is for me sometimes." Mom had her hand on mine.
"The banality of life," she said. "But it won't keep me from taking you to the South Pole."
Recommended to me by Cindi Leive, Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a quirky portrayal of a family trying to make the best of the hand they've been dealt--which is not alwaysso simple. Told alternatively through both the eyes of daughter Bee and email exchanges of overlapping story lines, The book reads like puzzle pieces to a mystery that you can't quite fit together and stands alone in its unique style. Each character is complex and genuine in a kooky way, and you'll find yourself picking sides to fights you wish you could intervene. All in all a lovely authentic story, my one qualm would be that the ending tied up a bit too neatly.
Do you agree?
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
"And there was something festoive and happy about the two of us, hurrying up the steps beneath the flimsy candy-striped umbrella, quick quick, for all the world as if we were escaping something terrible instead of running right into it."
You've probably heard about it by now, and this book is more than worthy of its recent Pulitzer Prize and of all its 770 pages (I'm still mourning that it ever ended). The most spectacular thing about The Goldfinch is Tartt's poignant writing and ability to create the story of a life so fascinating and emotional, it will bring you to tears. (It's literally the only book I've ever shamelessly sobbed with.) I had the fortune of seeing the book's namesake painting at the Frick Museum while it was traveling through New York with other Dutch masterpieces, which even further magnigied its magic--magic sometimes reminiscent to me of J.K Rowling's.
This is one that will stay in your heart forever and ever.
The Circle by Dave Eggers
"'A circle is the strongest shape in the universe. Nothing can beat it, nothing can improve upon it,
nothing can be more perfect. And that's what we want to be: perfect. So any information that eludes us, anything that's not accessible, prevents us from being perfect. So any information that eludes us, anything that's not accessible, prevents us from being perfect. You see?'"
A modern-day 1984, The circle is a timely depiction of our culture's obsession with social media and addiction to real-time knowledge. Almost satirical in its claims of "SECRETS ARE LIES, PRIVACY IS THEFT," Dave Eggers does a great job of hitting just a little too close to home, with a plot laced by mysterious twists and character struggles. The story takes place in the Google-y company compound of The Circle, where every thought is required to be transparent and eveny action recorded. It is certainly worthy of a recommendation because of the provoking questions, even fear that it raises about our society. Just how far is too far?
So, there you have it! Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think?