Sunday, November 9, 2014
The Sunday Salon and the 3 Books I Discovered as I Legally Loitered...
It was Saturday, and I missed a phone call on my cell. Calling my voice mail, I heard the familiar voice of the local librarian telling me my book was in. Hmmm, a book. What book? She never tells me what book I have in, just that "the book I requested is in". Now to be fair, when I get in the mood to reserve a book, I usually reserve more than one because you never know if someone is going to bring back their library book on time, and I want to read something NOW. That's one of the reasons I buy books- the instant gratification of reading what I want when I want. I do try to reserve books before they're out, just so I don't have to wait, but it doesn't always work out that way. But in any case, library card in hand I drove off to the library. It is a beautiful day here in Connecticut.
The sun was shining, the temperature a little cool and breezy, but perfect fall weather. When I got to the library there was plenty of parking, I guess due to the beautiful weather, and I found my way inside and up to the reserved stacks. It's a little strange for me even now, but if I reserve a book or even find a book on the shelves to take out, I never have to make human contact. The reserved books are in a separate section of the library, and there are 3 check out machines in the front. Scan the bar code on my card, scan the bar codes on the books, out pops a receipt (or I can have them email the receipt), and off I go.
On this day, though, I did not just grab my reserved book and go, I loitered. Probably the one place on earth they encourage loitering is your local library and I took full advantage of their generosity. Our local library has a beautiful section for new and newer books. It reminds me of a book seller display, with the covers facing out and beckoning you to check them out. Who doesn't judge a book by its' cover or at least open a book just because it has an interesting cover? Especially when you're loitering...
My loitering took me to a book of changes and second chances, from a professor in Madrid; a new book by a well known author that takes women to the erogenous zones of sarcasm; and the book "I had requested" and was waiting for me? Is a book that will have us wondering about the monsters under OUR bed...
The Heart Has Its Reasons by Maria Buesnas... A talented college professor in Madrid, Blanca Perea seems to have it all. But her world is suddenly shattered when her husband of twenty years leaves her for another woman. Questioning the life she once had and whether she truly knows herself, Blanca resolves to change her surroundings. She accepts what looks like a boring research grant in California involving an exiled Spanish writer who died decades ago. Anxious to leave her own troubled life behind, she is gradually drawn into his haunted world, with its poignant loves and unfulfilled ambitions.
But in delving into the past, Blanca finds herself simultaneously awakened to the present by Daniel Carter, a charismatic professor with crucial knowledge about the dead writer that he has never before revealed. Amid this web of passion, conflict, and hidden feelings, including her own, Blanca advances like an avid detective, refusing to quit, and ultimately discovers startling answers that resonate deeply in her own life.
First of all, I love Spanish writers. Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Gabriel Garcia Marquez to name just two. What I usually find in Spanish writing is this beautiful fluid imagery written out with a pen. What caught my eye on this book was the title. The cover made me think that it wasn't a romance, but something a bit more substantial. (not that romances can't be substantial!) I opened it, read a few paragraphs and fell in like with the writing. I'll be enjoying this library pick first! And I'll let you know what I think, but from first impressions, I am really looking forward to reading this. The story sounds interesting- research, dead writer, new beginnings. And the writing drew me in!
OK, I have a friend who loves Chuck Palahniuk, and when I saw this I had to at least pick it up. Palahniuk is well known for his book (and the movie that followed), Fight Club. He's also got a cult following. His fiction falls in what I would consider tongue in cheek and he makes us looks at ourselves in different ways as a result. The title of this book definitely did not give away what it was about, but after reading the inside dust jacket, I just had to smile. It sounds like a hoot and I had to take it out.
Ever since he nearly drowned in the ocean three years earlier, ten-year-old Jack Peter Keenan has been deathly afraid to venture outdoors. Refusing to leave his home in a small coastal town in Maine, Jack Peter spends his time drawing monsters. When those drawings take on a life of their own, no one is safe from the terror they inspire. His mother, Holly, begins to hear strange sounds in the night coming from the ocean, and she seeks answers from the local Catholic priest and his Japanese housekeeper, who fill her head with stories of shipwrecks and ghosts. His father, Tim, wanders the beach, frantically searching for a strange apparition running wild in the dunes. And the boy’s only friend, Nick, becomes helplessly entangled in the eerie power of the drawings. While those around Jack Peter are haunted by what they think they see, only he knows the truth behind the frightful occurrences as the outside world encroaches upon them all.
Didn't we all have monsters either under the bed or in the closet? What if they were real?! I enjoyed Keith Donohue's book Stolen Child many years ago and when I read about this new book, I had to give it a try. My library didn't even carry it, I had to request an interloan library loan. I am really looking forward to reading this!
After checking out these books, I wondered out to the car, but first took a short break in the courtyard. It was just too nice not to sit for a few minutes in the beautiful sunshine and I thought I would read a bit more from each of these books. What I discovered was how much I loved actually holding the books in my hand and turning the pages. My bookshelves are stuffed full, overflows everywhere, so I really needed to read more eBooks, but there is something still special about that physical book. Sitting there, turning the pages, brought back a flood of memories of other books I had taken out and enjoyed in that same courtyard, and I suspect there will be more memories of other books in the future.
Happy reading... Suzanne