Archive for September 2011
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Adult Fiction, eBook, eAudiobook
A forkful of her mother’s homemade lemon cake changes everything for eight-year-old Rose Edelstein. Overpowering the sugar, lemon, and chocolate frosting is the taste of her mother’s sadness. From that point forward, Rose’s meals become defined by a single ingredient: the emotions of the cook. Her unusual ability casts a revealing light on the inner lives of her family, ultimately forcing her to analyze and explore the nature of human relationships in a fascinating and original way.
Aimee Bender’s talent for gorgeous and evocative prose shines in her latest offering. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is a novel that is more about the journey than the destination. Fans of magical realism will enjoy this quirky, thoughtful read.
If The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is right up your alley, you might also like Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and Blindness by Jose Saramago.
Review by Martha
Ebooks are now Kindle compatible!!
We’re happy to announce that our eBook collection is now compatible with the Amazon® Kindle. Lake Bluff patrons can now download popular and classic eBooks to a Kindle device or any mobile device running the free Kindle app, such as iPhone®, iPad®, Android™, and more. Visit MyMediaMall to begin downloading your ebooks.
Summary: Born to a poor farming family in the Indian countryside near Mumbai, Asha’s mother knows that her newborn baby girl will be seen as an unwanted drain on the family. Rather than watch her daughter be killed, she takes her to an orphanage. In America, doctors Krishnan and Somer are desperate to have a child, but cannot. They adopt Asha, and the fates of the two families become intertwined.
Review: This is by no means a perfect novel; the writing often feels a bit awkward, and the travails of Somer and Krishnan don’t come across as genuine. That said, Asha’s struggles are heartbreakingly real and the descriptions of Mumbai are lovingly rendered, and more than enough to carry the novel. Not perfect, but a touching and beautiful debut novel.
Read-a-likes: Fans of the Mumbai setting should take a look at the books of Thrity Umrigar. Those intrigued by the struggles of adoption and adoptive children should consider Three Weeks to Say Goodbye by C.J. Box or Somebody Else’s Daughter by Elizabeth Brundage.
Availability: This item is available from the Lake Bluff Public Library as a book and an eBook. Click here to check on the status!
Review by Eric.
As we all know, the ten-year anniversary of September 11 is this Sunday. In remembrence of that day, here’s a list of a variety of items about that day.
Sunday is also the first Sunday of the fall we are open.
Inside 9-11: What Really Happened by Der Spiegel
A sectioned book by the authors of Der Spiegel magazine. The book includes a chronology of the events, as well as appendicies with lots of reference material and excerpts.
Appeal: well-researched, compelling, engaging.
The 9/11 Report : A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón
For those graphic fans out there, try this adaptation of the original book. Though only 15% as thick as the non-graphic version, the book’s visuals compensate completely.
Appeal: Heart-wrenching, graphic, powerful
A History of the World Since 9/11 by Dominic Streatfeild
British journalist Streatfeild examines eight different cases resulting from the 9/11 war on terror. The narrative format and involvement with each case creates an engaging read.
Appeal: Bleak, Gripping, Unique
Netherland by Joesph O’Neill
In this fiction, post-9/11 New York novel, Dutch banker Hans joins an underground league called the West Indian New Yorkers. An “outsider’s” account of New York’s culture depicts rebirth and the American Dream
Appeal: Charming, Bittersweet, Evocative
Winner of the 2009 Pen Faulkner Award for Fiction
The Devil’s Light by Richard North Patterson
A twist on the 9/11 attacks, this fiction work follows an order from Osama Bin Laden to attack Israel. On top of that, the attack is supposed to happen on 9/11 itself. Brooke Chandler, CIA operative, must convince his superiors of this before it’s too late.
Appeal: Thrilling, Fast-Paced, Suspenseful
Posted September 2, 2011on:
Summary: In the early 1940′s, with Hitler threatening to overrun the last bastions of resistance in Europe, fewer than three thousand young fighter pilots were all that stood between Britain and total defeat. Korda follows the developments in technology, philosophy and organization that led to the seemingly miraculous victory.
Review: Korda carefully lays out the developments that led to the outcome of the Battle of Britain. The decisions that led to effective defense and ineffective assault are fascinating, and Korda manages to relay them without stealing the glory of the triumph.
Read-a-likes: Other books of the Battle of Britain, such as The Few by Alex Kershaw, will be worth picking up. In the careful and logical analysis of men and machines that led to a battles outcome, Korda writes in a manner very similar to James Hornfischer. For a fictional treatment of the Battle of Britain, James Benn and Jeff Shaara are worth a look.
Availability: This title is available from the Lake Bluff Public Library as an eBook, eAudiobook and book. Click here to check on the availability!
Review by Eric.