Welcome to bookchat where you can talk about anything...books, plays, essays, and books on tape. You don’t have to be reading a book to come in, sit down, and chat with us.
With some books being tomes of 1080 pages and others being heavy hardbacks that seem larger than they might otherwise be, I wish to revisit the small books that are probable treasures. I haven’t read them, yet. I have them stacked by my copier and I am going to choose four or five of them to take to the hospital with me to read after my knee is replaced.
I am telling all my friends and relatives, including my Bookflurries and internet friends that I am not going to have much time for fun or phone calls. There will be an early, for me, wake up at 6:00 AM, breakfast, and then Physical Therapy. The PT is twice a day and I will be walking a bit each day plus doing exercises, plus using that little tube thing for the lungs. One nurse said I had to do that six times an hour. ??? Not sure I heard that right.
I will have the surgery early in the morning on April 29, gods willing and the creeks don’t rise. We have to be there two hours early so we will get up at 3:15 AM. The hospital is an hour’s drive south of me.
I will supposedly come home on Friday after the PT and lunch.
But of course, I must take some books. I chose some that are small paperbacks or tiny hardbacks. I have a little purple bag the hospital gave me for my knee book that I am supposed to bring which will hold my books. Hubby will probably ask, “Are there bricks in here?”
Emmet has agreed to do Bookflurries-Bookchat for me on Wed. the 30th. Thank you, Emmet!! You all will enjoy having her in charge, I know. I am hoping that a couple of friends will be able to come by and report a bit on what is happening to me, but there may not be much to report.
I hear that each day things get better. Fingers crossed.
So, I thought I would mention the books that I have and let you vote in the poll about which ones I should take, remembering my brain cells may not work too well with pain meds and I will be interrupted a lot. On the other hand, I can read a small book in a couple of hours, usually.
There are many small books that I have enjoyed in the past that I am not mentioning, tonight. Please mention your favorites.
Note: So, last week I mentioned that the nurse at knee camp said we should read funny things or laugh because it releases endorphins that help with healing. Diana in NoVa and No Exit mentioned several. My funny books are in hardback it seems, but a discussion of the books that would cause laughter would go down well in the comments just for fun.
Here is the list of those books that are small enough to fit in a bag to take:
1. On Kingdom Mountain by Howard Frank Mosher
Overview2. Instructions for Visitors by Helen Stevenson
Set in northern Vermont in 1930, On Kingdom Mountain introduces us to Miss Jane Hubbell Kinneson. A renowned local bookwoman and eccentric bird carver, she is the last remaining resident of a wild mountain on the U.S.-Canadian border, now threatened by a proposed new highway known as the Connector.
On her fiftieth birthday, a mysterious stunt pilot and weathermaker enters her life when his biplane crashes on the frozen lake at the foot of her mountain. He brings with him a riddle—handed down from his grandfather—containing clues to the whereabouts of $100,000 in stolen Civil War gold that may have been hidden on Miss Jane's property. As she and the footloose aviator begin to search for the treasure, Miss Jane finds herself confronted by the most important decisions of her life…
Overview3. The Obamas by Jodi Kantor
In this funny, forthright, and charming memoir, Helen Stevenson chronicles her experiences as a young British expatriate living in the countryside of France. With emotional depth and lyrical sensitivity, Stevenson introduces readers to the myriad residents of the quaint hamlet known only as "le village."
There's Stefan, the Maoist tennis buff, who has his own unique way of showing empathy for the masses; Gigi, the chic Parisian who uses her boutique to dress her ex-lovers' girlfriends; and Luc, the cowboy painter and part-time dentist, who, overcoming his aversion to blondes, becomes enamored of the Englishwoman who has been warmly embraced by the rural community. But her troubled love affair with this local lothario comes to represent the poignant truth: she is still, somehow, an outsider. Luc reminds her: "Le village, c'est moi," and she can never say the same.
Overview4. Tuva or Bust: Richard Feynman’s Last Journey by Ralph Leighton
When Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, he also won a long-running debate with his wife Michelle. Contrary to her fears, politics now seemed like a worthwhile, even noble pursuit. Together they planned a White House life that would be as normal and sane as possible.
Then they moved in.
In the Obamas, Jodi Kantor takes us deep inside the White House as they try to grapple with their new roles, change the country, raise children, maintain friendships, and figure out what it means to be the first black President and First Lady. Filled with riveting detail and insight into their partnership, emotions and personalities, and written with a keen eye for the ironies of public life, THE OBAMAS is an intimate portrait that will surprise even readers who thought they knew the President and First Lady.
Overview5. In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin (some say memoir, some say fiction)
As a stamp-collecting boy always fascinated by remote places, Nobel Prize–winning physicist Richard Feynman was particularly taken by the diamond-shaped stamps from a place called Tannu Tuva deep within Outer Mongolia. He hoped, someday, to travel there.
In 1977, Feynman and his sidekick— fellow drummer and geography enthusiast Ralph Leighton—set out to make arrangements to visit Tuva, doing noble and hilarious battle with Soviet red tape, befriending quite a few Tuvans, and discovering the wonders of Tuvan throat-singing. Their Byzantine attempts to reach Tannu Tuva would span a decade, interrupted by Feynman's appointment to the committee investigating the Challenger disaster, and his tragic struggle with the cancer that finally killed him. Tuva or Bust! chronicles the deepening friendship of two zany, brilliant strategists whose love of the absurd will delight and instruct. It is Richard Feynman's last, best adventure…
An exhilarating look at a place that still retains the exotic mystery of a far-off, unseen land, Bruce Chatwin's exquisite account of his journey through Patagonia teems with evocative descriptions, remarkable bits of history, and unforgettable anecdotes. Fueled by an unmistakable lust for life and adventure and a singular gift for storytelling, Chatwin treks through "the uttermost part of the earth" - that stretch of land at the southern tip of South America, where bandits were once made welcome - in search of almost-forgotten legends, the descendants of Welsh immigrants, and the log cabin built by Butch Cassidy.
6. The Selection Stories: The Prince and The Guard by Kiera Cass (YA)
Overview7. Green Mountain, White Cloud: A Novel of Love in the Ming Dynasty by Francois Cheng (fiction)
Before America Singer was chosen to compete in the Selection . . . She was in love with a Six named Aspen Leger . . . And there was another girl in Prince Maxon's life.
Step inside the world of the #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series with these two captivating novellas, available in print for the first time.
Overview8. The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad (fiction)
In a medieval abbey near Paris, in a room piled high with old Chinese texts, lies a manuscript gathering dust. Though ordinary in appearance, it first captures the eye of the narrator of François Cheng's novel. Then, once he begins to read, it captures his imagination and his heart. The book dates from the mid-seventeenth century, during the twilight of the Ming Dynasty.
Barbarian armies are massing along the Empire's Northern borders, and a vast and sophisticated civilization-during whose heyday China had begun to emerge from its long isolation and undergone an explosion in the arts equal in its way to Europe's Renaissance-teeters on the brink of monumental and perhaps catastrophic change. Yet rather than filled with lore of military heroism, or with tales of palace intrigue, or with nostalgic memories of better days, the book tells a simple and very powerful love story…
Overview9. Necessity’s Child by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
For readers of Khaled Hosseini, Daniyal Mueenuddin, and Mohsin Hamid, a remarkable, award-winning book about the tribes of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In this extraordinary tale, Tor Baz, the young boy descended from both chiefs and outlaws who becomes the Wandering Falcon, moves between the tribes of Pakistan and Afghanistan and their uncertain worlds full of brutality, humanity, deep love, honor, poverty, and grace.
The wild area he travels — the Federally Administered Tribal Area — has become a political quagmire known for terrorism and inaccessibility. Yet in these pages, eighty-year-old debut author Jamil Ahmad lyrically and insightfully reveals the people who populate those lands, their tribes and traditions, and their older, timeless ways in the face of sometimes ruthless modernity. This story is an essential glimpse into a hidden world, one that has enormous geopolitical significance today and still remains largely a mystery to us.
…The humans of Clan Korval is in many ways the opposite of the kompani. The interstellar trading clan is wealthy in enemies, fortunate in friends. Korval protects itself with vigor, and teaches even its youngest children the art of war.10. The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill
And when representatives of Clan Korval arrive on the planet Surebleak where the kompani has lived secret and aloof, it seems to the kompani that they are borne by the very winds of change.
Change can be a boon for in change lies opportunity. But the arrival of Clan Korval, establishing itself upon Surebleak with its friends, its enemies, and, most of all, its plans may bring catastrophe, changing the culture and the kompani, forever.
In this time of change, the lives of three people intersect — Kezzi, apprentice to the kompani's grandmother; Syl Vor, Clan Korval's youngest warrior; and Rys, a man without a world, or a past.
Necessity's Child is a standalone adventure in the popular and exciting Liaden Universe®
A chilling, classically-inspired ghost story from Susan Hill, our reigning mistress of spine-tingling fiction.11. Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi
For the last twenty years Sir James Monmouth has journeyed all over the globe in the footsteps of his hero, the great pioneering traveler Conrad Vane. In an effort to learn more about Vane’s early life—and his own—Sir James sets off for the remote Kittiscar Hall on a cold and rainy winter night. But he soon begins to feel as though something is warning him away at every turn; there are the intense feelings of being watched and the strange apparitions of a sad little boy…
…In 1943, Primo Levi, a twenty-five-year-old chemist and “Italian citizen of Jewish race,” was arrested by Italian fascists and deported from his native Turin to Auschwitz. Survival in Auschwitz is Levi’s classic account of his ten months in the German death camp, a harrowing story of systematic cruelty and miraculous endurance. Remarkable for its simplicity, restraint, compassion, and even wit, Survival in Auschwitz remains a lasting testament to the indestructibility of the human spirit. Included in this new edition is an illuminating conversation between Philip Roth and Primo Levi never before published in book form.12. Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloane
Overview13. And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily Series #1) by Tasha Alexander
A Winner of the Alex Award, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle.
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything—instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.
From gifted new writer Tasha Alexander comes a stunning novel of historical suspense set in Victorian England, meticulously researched and with a twisty plot that involves stolen antiquities, betrayal, and murder.
Diaries of the Week:
Write On! Your characters have their own concerns.
Contemporary Fiction Views: Goal accomplished with The Goldfinch
He's a teacher...how could I not vote? It is easy to do.
Netroots Nation Scholarship Voting: Shameless Begging
Hill Country Ride for AIDS is Saturday, please donate
The Stealth Revolution
by Robert Fuller
Robert Fuller says:
On the home stretch of Book III of The Rowan Tree. The remainder of the novel is written in first person journal style. Feedback has been mixed on that approach. I always welcome more!NOTE: plf515 has book talk on Wednesday mornings early
The Kindle version of The Rowan Tree still free on Kindle:
My memoir Belonging still free via Smashwords: