Saturday’s Books: “Someone” by McDermott and “Two She-Bears” by Shalev

It is good to have some rules in life. It’s also refreshing to break them from time to time.

My rule is that I don’t do Proffesional Dvelopment stuff on Saturdays, I just post about books! However, as you may have noticed, there were no book posts for the last two weeks. NOTHING in my life (so far, I’m thankful to say) has stopped me from reading. However, participating in RSCON4, which was an incredible experience and well worth breaking a rule for (see previous posts for information about that experience) DID stop me from posting about what I have recently read.

“Two She-Bears” by Meir Shalev is the author’s latest book. I have read most of his books and still say that his first one, known by the name of “Blue Mountain” in English, is his absolute best. He is very readable with a rich use of language. I always say that he reminds me a bit of Garcia Marquez, as the characters in his books are often larger than life, stuff of family legends. The grandfather in this talee reminded me a bit of Paul Bunyan at some point. Though, I have to admit in this book some of it goes beyond “slightly unbelievable”… Still, once I began, there was no option of not reading till the very end.

“Someone” by Alice McDermott is the audio book I just finished listening to (remember? I have this awesome 12 audio-book gift! This is number 4). I chose it based on the HUGE ad in the New Yorker Magazine. It was a double temptation, Not only did the ad say it was for lovers of Ann Patchett (me! me!) but I felt a luxurious feeling of just clicking  on the mouse and already having a brand new book available.

I had some trouble with this story though. McDermott is a skillful writer and the descriptions are incredible. No problem there. I was pleased that it was about an Irish Catholic family (and their neighbors, in Brooklyn , starting in the 1920’s and onwards) as I have always enjoyed reading about them. I grew up in Brookline (not Brooklyn) Mass alongside many Irish Catholic children. They went to the parochial schools in the mornings but we met at extra curricular activities and on the playground.

I found large portins of the story to be quite depressing. It’s not Angela’s Ashes in the sense that noone here is starving or has terrible untreated eye infections. Nothing like that. But you can see that the comparision came to mind several times. But people’s lives seem so sad, so locked in…

Maybe it was a question of timing, just not what I needed to read now. Nonetheless, I listened to the very end. I might try other books of hers in the future, but I will wait awhile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *