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Book Recommendations

Thought this would be a fun spot to post any books you all are reading in between book club books. This can be books you have just picked up to read or books you have finished and would recommend. Thanks for the suggestion Heather!!!  Here you go.



1. heather - November 16, 2006

Guess I’ll go first! This was one of my “Inbetweeners” after last month: Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, by Atul Gawande. When I first told my husband what I was reading, he thought I’d eaten a few too many candy corns and upset my chemical balance. I’m definitely more of a Humanities Girl, not a Science Girl. But there’s something in this book for people on both sides, and Gawande is a great writer. In fact, this book is based on his essays which originally appeared in The New Yorker.

We often think of medical science as being a neat little package of facts and knowledge. We go to the doctor and we expect them to know what’s wrong with us. We get a perscription and we expect it to make us feel better. We go in for surgery and we expect it to really be a “routine procedure.” Gawande presents the more “human” side of medicine. The side in which good doctors go bad, pain is unexplainable, and instincts sometimes trump experience.

These essays were written during his own surgical residency, and Gawande writes not just as a surgeon, and a student, but also as a parent of a child with medical problems. It’s fascinating to listen to him argue for the importance of medical students getting experience (what other profession uses unwitting human guinea pigs?), yet watch him admittedly struggle with the idea of letting a resident work on his own child. His writing style is easy to follow and not the least bit too technical. I came away from this book with a renewed admiration for those in the medical field.

2. Jane Swanson - November 28, 2006

Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love is a hauntingly beautiful novel about two characters whose lives are woven together in such complex ways that even after the last page is turned, the reader is left to wonder what really happened. In the hands of a less gifted writer, unraveling this tangled web could easily give way to complete chaos. However, under Krauss’s watchful eye, these twists and turns only strengthen the impact of this enchanting book.
The History of Love spans of period of over 60 years and takes readers from Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe to present day Brighton Beach. At the center of each main character’s psyche is the issue of loneliness, and the need to fill a void left empty by lost love. Leo Gursky is a retired locksmith who immigrates to New York after escaping SS officers in his native Poland, only to spend the last stage of his life terrified that no one will notice when he dies. (“I try to make a point of being seen. Sometimes when I’m out, I’ll buy a juice even though I’m not thirsty.”) Fourteen-year-old Alma Singer vacillates between wanting to memorialize her dead father and finding a way to lift her mother’s veil of depression. At the same time, she’s trying to save her brother Bird, who is convinced he may be the Messiah, from becoming a 10-year-old social pariah. As the connection between Leo and Alma is slowly unmasked, the desperation, along with the potential for salvation, of this unique pair is also revealed.

The poetry of her prose, along with an uncanny ability to embody two completely original characters, is what makes Krauss an expert at her craft. But in the end, it’s the absolute belief in the uninteruption of love that makes this novel a pleasure, and a wonder to behold. –Gisele Toueg

Just a fabulous read!
After I read it, I SO wanted to discuss it here.
You guys will devour this one, I’m sure.

3. Michelle - January 29, 2007

Hi… I have a bunch of recommendations on my blog. I’m going to try to link it here.

4. Michelle - January 29, 2007

Ok. That clearly didn’t work. You’ll just have to cut and paste.


5. bethany3boys - January 31, 2007

Thanks Michelle,
I started The Power of One…..;)

6. Michelle - February 2, 2007

oooooh… how do you like it so far Bethany? I’m excited to hear your point of view- as a mother of young boys. I just fell in love with Peekay from the beginning.

7. bethany3boys - February 2, 2007

Michelle, I am loving it so far. I can just picture him so vividly and his thoughts make me laugh out loud.

8. bethany3boys - February 6, 2007

Okay Michelle the whole fact that in the first part of the book Peekay is Seths age was freaking me out. Made me cry. I can’t imagine those things happening to Seth!!!!! You are right he is adorable. I am halfway through the book now…just love it.

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