Thursday, August 30, 2012

Quick Thoughts: Books You Need to Read

All three of these books earned 5 star ratings from this picky reader.

Alias Grace
Margaret Atwood

Let's start with the one I read back in January (eep!): Alias Grace. Margaret Atwood, one of my favorite living writers, fictionalizes the tale of Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant to Canada who is convicted of murdering her employer. I love Grace, the unreliable narrator, the "alienist" doctor intent on finding out the truth about her crime, and the Canadian frontier setting.

I wish I'd written my thoughts when the book was fresher in my mind, but it was not to be ;-) It was very good, that I clearly remember!

Anne Of Green Gables
Lucy Maud Montgomery

 I absolutely loved the Anne series when I was growing up. That Anne girl, with her endless, exhausting supply of energy, her determination to make the best of whatever life threw at her, her fiery red hair, worked her way into my heart. I'd been wanting to re-read Anne of Green Gables for some time, hoping it would provide a much-needed comfort read. Happily, it did not disappoint. Anne and the other characters were just as charming as they were fifteen years ago when I first met them. Montgomery's descriptions of Prince Edward Island have lodged themselves deep in my imagination, making me ever hopeful that I'll one day get to see the White Way of Delight for myself.

Brother, I'm Dying 
Edwidge Danticat

This is Danticat's story of her two fathers, who were also two brothers. As perhaps you would expect from a writer, there is a theme focusing on the importance of words running throughout this memoir. Her uncle depends on his words as an orator and preacher, then loses them completely when surgery removes his voicebox. He relies on compulsively jotted notes to detail the activities around him. Danticat listens to the stories of the elder women in the family and is taught about life, and about death. She struggles to find the words to communicate with her parents, who have left her and her brother in Haiti as they try to prepare a place in New York.

The end, of course, is heartbreaking. What else would you expect with a title like Brother, I'm Dying? There is hope though, and life, and beauty.

Okay, which one are you going to read first? 


Teresa said...

I'll try to read 'Alias Grace'. I've only read two books by Atwood so far (The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake) but I'm eager for more of her novels!

rasiqra/revulva said...

brother, i'm dying sounds fantastic! i've read and loved both of the others (and just read anne for the first time earlier this month!), so this is definitely the one i shall choose. thanks for the recommendations!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I just adore Anne Of Green Gables. I could read that book over and over again. I'm in the middle of Atwood's Robber Bride right now. I'm really excited because she's visiting my city in September. I can't wait to hear her speak!

Heather said...

Atwood is my favorite author, and I love Alias Grace. I haven't read Anne of Green Gables since I was a kid--maybe I should reread it soon. I'm a big fan of Edwidge Danticat, and Brother, I'm Dying is already on my wish list. I'm glad to here that you loved it!

MJ said...

@Teresa: I haven't read Oryx and Crake yet, but it's one I'm looking forward too! Good thing Atwood has so many to choose from.

@rasiqra/revulva: You're welcome! Sounds like we have similar tastes :)

@Melissa: I'd love to see Margaret Atwood! I think my town's a little small for her to come visit, though.

@Heather: Brother, I'm Dying is really good. The only other book I've read by her is "The Dewbreakers" and this one is probably even better than that one.

thecuecard said...

Alias Grace is my favorite by Atwood. I need to reread because I read it quite long ago. I read another of hers recently called Surfacing -- check out

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