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Friday Finds: October 3, 2008

I’m checking in with MizB and the folks who read her blog, Should Be Reading.  Here’s the list of books that have come into my life this week:

I was a lucky winner of a giveaway that Book Club Girl was running during Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW).  There were so many great posts, interviews, giveaways and general good will and positive feedback that week!  I’m sure I’m not the only person posting “I won!” today :)   What did I win?  A hardcover copy of David Wroblewski’s The Story of Edgar Sawtelle plus a really cool illustrated Book Club Girl mousepad with a quote from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  If you’ve missed the buzz about Edgar Sawtelle, it was first published in June of this year; Oprah announced it as her latest book club pick in September.  Here’s the publisher’s synopsis:

Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar’s lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar’s paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles’ once peaceful home. When Edgar’s father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm-and into Edgar’s mother’s affections.

Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father’s death, but his plan backfires — spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father’s murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.

I also received a copy of Raymond Atkins’ The Front Porch Prophet.  Other reviewers have called this novel “quirky” and “poignant” … intriguing, right?  Here’s a sneak peek:

What do a trigger-happy bootlegger with pancreatic cancer, an alcoholic helicopter pilot who is afraid to fly, and a dead guy with his feet in a camp stove have in common? What are the similarities between a fire department that cannot put out fires, a policeman who has a historic cabin fall on him from out of the sky, and an entire family dedicated to a variety of deceased authors? Where can you find a war hero named Termite with a long knife stuck in his liver, a cook named Hoghead who makes the world’s worst coffee, and a supervisor named Pillsbury who nearly gets hung by his employees? Sequoyah, Georgia is the answer to all three questions. They arise from the relationship between A. J. Longstreet and his best friend since childhood, Eugene Purdue. After a parting of ways due to Eugene’s inability to accept the constraints of adulthood, he reenters A.J.’s life with terminal cancer and the dilemma of executing a mercy killing when the time arrives. Take this gripping journey to Sequoyah, Georgia and witness A.J.’s battle with mortality, euthanasia, and his adventure back to the past and people who made him what he is – and helps him make the decision that will alter his life forever.

Lastly, I’ll share a bit about the latest pick for our neighborhood book group, Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates.  This will be coming out as a movie this winter; I’m glad we’ll have the chance to read/review/discuss it before seeing the film.  Here’s a bit from the inside flap:

From the moment of its publication in 1961, Revolutionary Road was hailed as a masterpiece of realistic fiction and as the most evocative portrayal of the opulent desolation of the American suburbs. It’s the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright, beautiful, and talented couple who have lived on the assumption that greatness is only just around the corner. With heartbreaking compassion and remorseless clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April mortgage their spiritual birthright, betraying not only each other, but their best selves.

Three novels for me this week, not my usual mixed bag!  Have you read any of the books I mention?  What’s new in your to-be-read pile this week?

6 comments to Friday Finds: October 3, 2008

  • It looks like you’re in for some good reading.

  • I read and reviewed Front Porch Prophet in September, it was one of my favorite reads recently.

    Revolutionary Road looks really interesting. Hope you have a good weekend of reading!

  • I haven’t heard of any of the books. They do look interesting. Enjoy!

    Robin of mytwoblessings

  • Oh cool! You have your own place now. :)

  • Dawn, The Front Porch Prophet is WONDERFUL.

    Revolutionary Road sounds so good. It’s going on my TBR list. I am fascinated by suburbs and bedroom communities. I’ve lived in a few, and never really liked the experience. If I am living in a city, I’d prefer to be at its core vs. in the ‘burbs.

  • Joanne and Shana – I’m looking forward to reading *The Front Porch Prophet*, and have enjoyed corresponding with the author. As for *Revolutionary Road* and life in the suburbs, I agree with your take on city center life vs. cookie-cutter outpost, Shana. I feel we’re in a great mix of the two, living where my family does now (on “Revolutionary Road”, believe it or not)

    Kathy, Robin and J.Kaye – well, it’s Saturday evening and I haven’t done much reading yet this weekend … but, “tomorrow is another day!”

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