Reaal World, Indeed!

Natsuo Kirino is back! She’s a Japanese author who writes mystery/suspense/social commentary/feminist manifesto sorts of books. Her latest effort translated into English is “Real World,” and like “Out,” which I also enjoyed immensely, it grabs you by the throat and won’t let you go until you’ve finished it. This time, a high school girl “witnesses” a neighbor boy murdering his mother. She and three of her friends get entangled with the young man’s flight from justice, and in the process we get to see into each of their own “real worlds.” Strange, disturbing, but very difficult to put down.

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Talking About Running…and Life

I just finished “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,” by Haruki Murakami.

He’s written several novels and short story collections that have been translated into English and published here, but this book is entirely different. It’s a memoir about running, and the role it has played in his life since he started over 30 years ago. This isn’t a “missionary tract” about running and why we should all do it. It’s much reflective than that, and definitely worth the short time it takes to read it (its under 200 pages).

Murakami suggests that he’d like to see this sentence on his gravestone when the time comes: “At least he never walked.” I endorse his sentiments 100%!

Happy Fourth!

I want to be sure that you all know that the library will close on Friday July 4 and Saturday July 5 in observance of Independence Day. Enjoy the holiday!

Reserved for the Cat by Mercedes Lackey

SF/Fantasy. A young, pretty ballet dancer living in Paris, has last both of her parents and is now living on her own working as a soloist at the Paris Opera.  When through “luck” she upstages the premier dancer, she is tossed out of the Paris Opera and blacklisted by other opera companies.  Her life appears to be headed to a life of misery. At her lowest point, she hears someone speaking to her, mind-to-mind, to her amazement… it’s a cat!  If Ninette will follow Thomas the cat’s instructions, her life could become everything she could wish for… but there are a few bumps in the road to overcome first!

 

Twelve Mighty Orphans

Now, believe it or not, I’m not a big football fan, but this true life account of the Texas Masonic Home for Orphans, and it’s football team, is truly inspiring. The home barely had funds to house, feed and educate its population of about 150 orphans. But somehow they managed to field a football team, and even seriously challenge for the Texas State Championship for more than a decade, against far larger and richer schools. Since football is a secular”religion” in Texas, this was a huge story, and a source of great inspiration through the Depression, which was the orphans time of greatest glory. Jim Dent, who also wrote “The Junction Boys,” about Bear Bryant’s Texas A&M teams of the 50’s wrote this book. He doesn’t edit the stories of the players to contrive “happy endings” for all of their lives. It’s pretty gritty stuff at some points, but still a gripping read. Check it out..you won’t be sorry.

Playing for Pizza!

The title of this book grabbed me right away, because I’d personally do nearly anything for pizza. Turns out there’s lots more to this book by John Grisham than meets the eye.

It’s the story of Rick Dockery, a prematurely washed up NFL quarterback who flees (almost literally) to Italy to play for the Parma Panthers of the Italian “NFL.” The football part is fun, but even better are the cultural insights (I nearly cried with laughter as Rick undergoes some of the same experiences I had when I lived in Italy!) and the way Dockery finds himself and a true love for football. I listened to it in CD, but that way or in print, it’s worth your time for sure.

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

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How far would you go to preserve your beliefs?

In this nonfiction narrative, Krakauer explores what can happen when religious convictions become overwhelming. Krakauer interweaves the narrative of the 1984 murder of a young Mormon wife and her infant child–perpetrated by her husband’s brothers, supposedly under the order of God–with an account of the founding and history of Mormon fundamentalism.

For readers who only know about Mormonism from the t.v. series Big Love, this book will be a big eye opener.

Check this book out from the library today!