Friday, April 13, 2007

Amusements For the Upcoming Weather

In preparation for the Pounding Nor'easter expected to hit us on Sunday, I've compiled a pile of books:
Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army by Jeremy Scahill. I'm almost finished with this book and highly recommend it to all fellow conspiracy theorists or anyone with an interest in Iraq and trying to figure out what's next.
My Latest Grievance by Elinore Lipman. I adore all of her books and this one is no exception. Narrated by a precocious 16-year old growing up in a residence hall of a private college (her parents are professors and dorm parents) it's vintage Lipman--astute, wise and forgiving of human foibles.
Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart. Finally out in paperback, it's been called 'masterful', 'brilliant', 'marvelous' and was one of the NYTimes' Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year. Sounds perfect for a rainy/snowy Sunday by the fire.
Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose. Just out in paperback. Just in case I ever become a writer....
And Finally, the best for last:
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. Just out in paperback. I'm ecstatic that my book club has selected this for our next discussion. I read it last year and have been looking for an excuse to re-read it. To be able to do so and then discuss it, won't be easy but it should be worthwhile.
Suite Francaise was written by a very popular French writer in the years leading up to WWII. It chronicles the Nazi invasion of France and the occupation. It's a remarkable work, brilliant and astonishing on its own, but the second appendix to the book is extraordinary.
It is the correspondence between the author and publisher, and later, the author's husband and publisher. These letters chronicle the confusion and disbelief that occurred as the Nazis began and then escalated their plans for the Jewish race. It is poignant and heartbreaking as the reader knows full well what will happen, but it's evident from each letter that the writer cannot imagine such things.
Irene Nemirovsky was deported to Auschwitz in July of 1942. She was exterminated almost immediately upon reaching the camp. It's not an easy or comfortable read, but it is a masterpiece and it is so very worthwhile.


Monkey said...

I've got my book picked out, "Heyday" by Kurt Anderson. And Spongebob Squarepants Monopoly. We're set.


If you want to feel worse, check out the spring photos on this great blog from Scotland.

mainelife said...

An excellent choice. If you remember, will you let me know how you liked it? I've almost bought it twice, and all I need is a little push to get me over the edge.

Great thanks for the link to that wonderful blog. Sigh.