Hello and Happy Saturday!! Wonder what the weather will throw at us today?! Been a bit cloudier this week which has been nice, but it’s always good to see the sun return!!
On to books!! It’s been a fairly calm bookish week!! No mad shopping sprees this week! I’ve actually started another book clearout, although clearing 50 books from a bookcase resulted in ZERO extra space being created so back to the drawing board for me on that front! I’m obviously doing something wrong!!
I have managed to finish 4 books this week, and 2 newbies joined my Netgalley shelf! Here’s my look back..
UNSETTLED GROUND by CLAIRE FULLER – 4 STARS
THE STRANDING by KATE SAWYER – 5 STARS
What did Netgalley tempt me with this week?….
THE WOMAN IN THE MIDDLE by MILLY JOHNSON
publication date – October 2021
Shay Bastable is the woman in the middle. She is part of the sandwich generation – caring for her parents and her children, supporting her husband Bruce, holding them all together and caring for them as best she can.
Then the arrival of a large orange skip on her mother’s estate sets in motion a cataclysmic series of events which leads to the collapse of Shay’s world. She is forced to put herself first for a change.
But in order to move forward with her present, Shay needs to make sense of her past. And so she returns to the little village she grew up in, to uncover the truth about what happened to her when she was younger. And in doing so, she discovers that sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to find the only way is up.
THE BOOK OF FORM AND EMPTINESS by RUTH OZEKI
publication – September 2021
After the tragic death of his beloved musician father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house – a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn’t understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are pleasant, a gentle hum or coo, but others are snide, angry and full of pain. When his mother develops a hoarding problem, the voices grow more clamorous.
At first Benny tries to ignore them, but soon the voices follow him outside the house, onto the street and at school, driving him at last to seek refuge in the silence of a large public library, where objects are well-behaved and know to speak in whispers. There, Benny discovers a strange new world, where ‘things happen’. He falls in love with a mesmerising street artist with a smug pet ferret, who uses the library as her performance space. He meets a homeless philosopher-poet, who encourages him to ask important questions and find his own voice amongst the many.
And he meets his very own Book – a talking thing – who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.
With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz to climate change to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki – bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking.