Monday, May 12, 2014

THE CAT'S TABLE by Michael Ondaatje

Image result for cats table

From LitLovers Summary and Questions

In the New York Times, Michael Ondaatje’s Passage From Ceylon
In the Washington Post: Ron Charles reviews ‘The Cat’s Table,’ by Michael Ondaatje
In NPR:  Ondaatje Delivers A Romp Through Memory, Boyhood

In New York Books, Come Aboard

In PBS NEWSHOUR:  Ondaatje Crafts Semi-Autobiographical Tales of Ocean Voyage in "The Cat's Table"


The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow By Rita Leganski

Interview with Rita Leganski

Questions for discussion in Your Hidden Shelf

In Harper Collins, publisher.


Respiring Thoughts

THE ECHO MAKER, by Richard Powers.

Cover image and catalog link

In the New York Times:  Migratory Spirits

The New York Review of Books:  In the Heart of the Heartland

The Guardian, Book of the Week: The Echo Maker

In LitMed,  Literature, Arts and Medicine Database at New York University: Literature Annotations

SLATE: Book Blitz: Surprising Powers:  Richard Powers Scientific Humanism

National Book Foundation: 2006  The Echo Maker

In LitLovers: includes discussion questions

More on the author in his website

In The Believer Magazine:  INTERVIEW

Thursday, April 3, 2014

CALEB'S CROSSING, by Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks' webpage

In, the publisher. Includes a conversation with the author.

The New York Times published a review:  Geraldine Brooks’s Pilgrims and Indians

In the Washington Post Book World

In LitLovers

American Indians in chlidren's literature

Bookrags:  This includes a plot summary

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
In I'm loving books

"Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love."

The author's web page, in English: Carlos Ruiz Zafon

From Penguin Group, including an interview to the author.

In The Guardian | The Observer

In LitLovers - discussion questions also.

The NY Times article In the Cemetery of Forgotten Books

Other books by Ruiz Zafon

The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway

Here is a version of the famous Adagio of Tomaso Albinoni mentioned on the first pages of the book:

In LitLovers - see also discussion questions. Questions are provided by the publisher, Penguin Group.

In Quill and Quire

Swans commentary, In The Cellist Of Sarajevo Is Fiction A License To Lie? 

It will be Toronto Library One Book.

The Book Boutique

The NY Times reported widely about the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s, here is an article titled The Music Helps Sarajevo Stay Sane During War

The Princeton Book Review says:
"This is a fictionalized account of true events that occurred during the siege of Sarajevo. After witnessing the death of 22 people, killed by mortar shells while waiting on line for bread, a cellist, risks his life to play Albinoin’s Adagio for the next 22 days to honor them. Galloway presents a vivid in-depth picture of living in war torn city. He does this by following the daily routine of several people and examining their thoughts over the course of the three weeks the cellist played. Through Kenan and Dagnan we witness the difficulty and danger of obtaining water or crossing a street to go to work; their fear of death from opposition snipers is palpable and not easily forgotten. Their thoughts as they rationalize the process, hope for a better future and long for the past are haunting. My favorite character by far is Arrow. She is complex and ruthless, harden by war but very human. As an expert sniper her job is to protect the cellist and when she takes center stage, the tension and suspense builds. Although the style of the book is literary, at times it reads more like a documentary so it may not be a book for everyone. 

Book Club Talking Points:
 This book brings to light the atrocities the human race is capable of, provoking thought on the senselessness of war and the capacity of man to kill another human being. Arrow’s character will spark the most debate. Her thoughts as she seeks to avenge her fellow townspeople are as conflicted as her actions. For me the hardest concept to grasp was the fact that the story is based on true events. The cellist, although not developed to a great extent in the book, was without a doubt integral to the story, especially if you try to define the mindset necessary to do what he did.