5.21.2007

Book review 1: life-changing adventures in Ireland

Sometimes it's hard to find good books to read. Maddy, Katie and I sat around a few weekends ago and listed great books off our heads, which seemed like a much larger task beforehand; in the moment, we had to rely on amazon.com to help jog our memories.

Thus begins the beginning of book reviews here at FOL. If you've read these books and have something to say, feel free to add your two cents in the comments section...

Title: Le livre du voyage
Author: Bernard Werber



Memorable quote: The book starts with: "Bonjour. Je me presente. Je suis un livre et je suis vivant...puisque nous allons vivre quelque chose de fort ensemble, permets-moi tout d'abord de te tutoyer."
The Gist: A book who speaks to you directly and takes you on an adventure. Much cooler than "choose your own adventure" books. The book is self-aware and knows its role and doesn't pretend to hide behind fiction.
Read it when you: Need some life advice. Have a couple of hours free. Learn French (NB: I've searched the Internet and cannot describe how CRUSHED I am that this book isn't translated into English because I fully intended on buying about 25 copies and sending it to most literate people I know. I suppose the solution to this problem is that you'll just have to start French lessons ASAP.)
Haven't I heard of that author before? Yep, he's the author who writes about people as ants and the angels that are inhabiting the earth at the same time as us. In other words, sci-fi.

============================================

Title: The Solitaire Mystery
Author: Jostein Gaarder




Memorable Quote: "If we had lived in another century,' he went on, 'we would have shared our lives with different people. Today we can easily nod and smile and say hello to thousands of our contemporaries: 'Hi there! How strange we should be living at exactly the same times.' Or perhaps I bump into someone and open a door and shout: 'Hi, soul!"
The Gist: Boy meets dwarf who gives him a magnifying glass. Boy finds tiny book in a sticky bun and uses magnifying glass to read said book; discovers himself, his history, and his destiny by reading.
Read it when you: Are in the mood for something FICTIONAL in all caps. Spooky and mysterious, but smart and philosophical.
Haven't I heard of that author before? Yep, when you read Sophie's World. Or when you meant to.

=============================================

Title: Cafe Berlin
Author: Harold Nebenzal


Memorable Quote: "Daniel, these are going to be the best moments of your life. You will think of them all your days. It will make you proud, and you will taste the sweetness of vengeance. I believe in you. You will sit with the Germans and you will listen to them and you will keep your eyes open and you will bring us he information we need. And when this is over, you and Uzi and Papo and I will meet and drink and talk about the grandest time we ever had."
The Gist: Anne Frank meets the nightclub scene. A Syrian Jew lives in Berlin during the second World War, owns a nightclub, is eventually forced into hiding.
Read it when you: Want to have nightmares about being a spy in Nazi-Germany. Wait, maybe that's just me. Seriously though, it's sexy and exciting and focuses more on the Eastern Europeans' roles in WWII than most other books about the war.
Haven't I heard of that author before? Um. Can't help you there.

1 comment:

Ciara said...

My students were raving about 'Le livre du voyage' in class. I was going to buy it then but this decides it. If you recommend it I'm going out to get it... today! I finished 'The Time Traveller's Wife' stolen from Erica so I definitely think we're compatible on book recommendations.
I add to the list Marc Levy 'Et si c'etait vrai' and Anna Gavalda 'Ensemble, c'est tout' for the French speakers.