December 26, 2012

2012: Books 17 - 21

The Sum of Our Days
Isabelle Allende
A memoir of love, chaos, and drama that shows the interminable power of love of family, and more importantly, the mates we commit to. 
When We Were Orphans
Kazuo Ishiguro
Storytelling at its finest.  Slight comments from third parties give more context and background than the narator could possibly add, because the narrator is so convincingly human and biased.  This is the story of a british boy raised in the International Settlement in Shanghai who is sent to London after his parents disappear and are unable to be found.  His memories of his time in Shanghai and his desire to solve the mystery of their disappearance invade all plot lines and eventually, he goes back to Shanghai to finalize the reality of the mystery, all in the middle of the Japanese attacks and the impending war.
The Crossing
Cormac McCarthy
Stark English and Spanish dialogue between lengthy descriptions of the southern American and Mexican landscape frame this simple sad tale of boys becoming men, horses, dogs, and the way of the road for those with no home.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Alan Bradley
A charming british murder mystery with an 11 year old female sleuth and heroine.  Lighthearted and completely enjoyable. 
The Sense of an Ending
Julian Barnes
A compelling tale of the maleability of time and memory by a 70 year old who learns of the realities that challenge his assumptions about his early adult companions.  Sideways, through the murky memory membrane, he slowly comes to new conclusions of who he was, and is.

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