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Books: Calling Out for You

September 16, 2010 | Books

I just finished reading Calling Out for You by Karin Fossum, a Norwegian author. (The book is also known as The Indian Bride, as it was published in the United States.) Interesting read, but the book ended so abruptly that I wondered if something was missing from the book. I liked her writing well enough to read another of her books, but I feel as if three chapters got lopped off the end of this book.

I still get hung up on some of the translations. In some other books written by Norwegian authors, I thought it was odd to see a napkin called a serviette, which is what it’s called in Norway. But, no, I guess that’s what they call it in British English too. In this Fossum book, the one that popped out at me was when someone took out a “griddle cake,” which I believe was probably lefse. It would have made more sense to me to call that a flatbread.

Ah well. That’s the fun of reading various translations.

Posted by Becky @ 2:34 pm | 1 Comment  

Books: Dewey

February 10, 2010 | Books,Family,Iowa,School

Our next Read a Million Minutes book was Dewey: There’s a Cat in the Library! by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter, illustrated by Steve James. This was a SHE WRITES book. It’s also the children’s version of Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | Comments  

Books: Housekeeping

February 9, 2010 | Books

I just finished reading Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. Wow. Could it be any more different than Gilead? I don’t think so. Gilead was about a dying man writing to his son, yet each page was filled with joy and hope. Housekeeping was about two sisters growing up together, and each page was filled with abandonment, separation, growing apart and dark, dark, dark things. It was SO sad and depressing.

No matter what the topic, though, Robinson is a master at putting words together. Just a few quotes that stood out for me.

It was a source of both terror and comfort to me then that I often seemed invisible — incompletely and minimally existent, in fact. It seemed to me that I made no impact on the world, and that in exchange I was privileged to watch it unawares.

Having a sister or a friend is like sitting at night in a lighted house. Those outside can watch you if they want, but you need not see them. You simply say, ‘Here are the perimeters of our attention. If you prowl around under the windows till the crickets go silent, we will pull the shades. If you wish us to suffer your envious curiosity, you must permit us not to notice it.’ Anyone with one solid human bond is that smug, and it is the smugness as much as the comfort and safety that lonely people covet and admire.

I hated waiting. If I had one particular complaint, it was that my life seemed composed entirely of expectation. I expected — an arrival, an explanation, an apology. There had never been one, a fact I could have accepted, were it not true that, just when I had got used to the limits and dimensions of one moment, I was expelled into the next and made to wonder again if any shapes hit in its shadows.

Then there is the matter of my mother’s abandonment of me. Again, this is the common experience. They walk ahead of us, and walk too fast, and forget us, they are so lost in thoughts of their own, and soon or late they disappear. The only mystery is that we expect it to be otherwise.

I’m reading her book Home right now.

Posted by Becky @ 6:10 am | 2 Comments  

Books: Food Lover’s Companion

January 16, 2010 | Books,Death,Food

When I was putting together my mother-in-law’s recipe for fish soup, I discovered that the author of one of the most-used books in my kitchen had died. Three years ago this month. Sharon Tyler Herbst, who wrote the Food Lover’s Companion (among many other food books), died in January 2007 after fighting ovarian cancer.

Posted by Becky @ 4:03 pm | Comments  


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