The Sparrow Read-a-Long Wrap Up

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Ok, so it’s been at least two weeks since I finished reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (see The Sparrow Midway Check In) and I’m ashamed to say it is growing fuzzy in my mind. I read it along with several others in a Sparrow Read-A-Long organized by Trish at Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity, and I just want to thank Trish for getting me off my butt, peeling away my fears and intimidation and making me read this book. It was transformative.

I’m not even going to try to summarize the story. Saying that it is about a Jesuit mission that goes into space to search out other planetary life is just to reductive. I can say that it is an epic journey, with a wonderful cast of characters and deals with issues of faith. The writing is supreme and the storytelling is captivating. More often than not The Sparrow is categorized as science fiction and i think this does the book a grave disservice. It is one of the most complex literary novels I’ve read in a long time.

For those of you who have read The Sparrow, I have one question for you: Will you read the sequel, Children of God?

I don’t know the answer to this question yet. By the end of The Sparrow I felt that Emilio had been through so much that I didn’t want to see him suffer anymore. I was exhausted and devastated by the end. As much as I liked The Sparrow, the state of existential crisis it put me and the characters in was too much. But now, two weeks later, part of me does want to read the sequel. Russell is a brilliant writer. I fear that Children of God won’t live up to The Sparrow, but is that a reason not to read it? There are few books out there that can take my breath away the way The Sparrow did.

Cover Wars: Golden Boy

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When Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin (review) came out I was floored by it. It is simply brilliant. It is now available in paperback in most markets, so it seems like a good time to revisit some of its many covers. Continue reading

The Future For Curious People by Gregory Sherl

future-curious-peopleSometimes the right book comes to you at the right time. That was the case with The Future for Curious People by Gregory Sherl. I was kind of in a reading funk and wanted something light, fun and feel good. Nothing that would tax my synapses too much. That was exactly what The Future for Curious People delivered. It was a quick and quirky love story that kind of restored my faith in love and in fate. Continue reading

Meeting the English by Kate Clanchy

meeting-the-englishI received a signed copy of Meeting the English by Kate Clanchy from Willoughby Book Club‘s wonderful book subscription service. As with many of the books I get from them, I had never heard of Meeting the English but it was another example of the types of books I want to be reading to expand my knowledge of contemporary British fiction now that I’m living in these fair Isles. It was nominated for the Costa First Novel Award, an award that truly identifies books I love. Continue reading

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride

girl-half-formedIt has taken me an astonishingly long time to finish this relatively slim volume (228 pages) by Eimear McBride. A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing is not an easy book to read. Described as ‘Joycean’, the language takes a while to get into to. And in terms of subject matter, well, there is nothing easy about the topics dealt with – illness, death, abuse, sexual awakening. All of this meant A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing was not the type of book I could just pick up for a few pages while waiting for the pasta water to boil, or helping my daughter with her homework. Continue reading

The Sparrow Read-A-Long: Midway Check In

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I want to thank Trish at Love, Laughter, and A Touch of Insanity for organizing The Sparrow read-a-long. It gave me the opportunity to read this book that I’ve heard so much about in the past year, but had yet to read. In fair warning to all of you, I finished the book over the weekend – I literally couldn’t put it down – but this post will be entirely spoiler free. Continue reading