My apologies to those of you who don’t read Hebrew, I sincerely hope this book will be translated soon!
This book takes a novel and humorous approach to the romantic tale. The main characters are “Coincidence Makers” – beings who look like people but are in fact in charge of creating the situations we call coincidences. It takes meticulous research and careful planning to create a perfect “coincidence”. Coincidences that cause two people to cross paths, some that lead to major discoveries in medicine or even getting someone fired so as to get him/her to move on to do what he/she always wanted but was too afraid to try.
But the best part of it all, for me, was how Blum treats it like a serious profession and gives excerpts from the Coincidence Makers’ textbooks and exams (you have to study to be certified) which clearly poke fun at familiar things from college entrance exams and course material.
There are also official Imaginary Friends…
I also enjoyed the way he described situations, supposedly seriously but then with a twist of phrase that made me chuckle.
As I said – a fun read!
P.S. It turns out the author lives in Kiryat Ono, just like I do! If you’ve forgotten the wonders that can be found in our little corner of the world, see here.
The past year has been an extremely hectic one for me (good things, no worries!). Large quantities of new information of different types landed on my brain’s “doorstep” and moved in.
Their arrival seems to have displaced information I used to have at my disposal and I seem to have less room for taking in new information (I forget things I was recently told!).
One memory has surfaced quite clearly though. In fact, it is demanding my attention quite frequently. There is a question to be answered:
Was Sherlock Holmes (or rather Conan Doyle) right about the brain being like an attic after all?
The claim was made, in “A Study in Scarlet” which I believe was the very first story about Holmes, published in 1887. Dr. Watson had just expressed shock that Holmes didn’t know something about the solar system, possibly that the earth rotates around the sun. I read the story years ago yet Holmes’ reaction stuck in my mind more than the actual plot of the story.
Here’s the quote. What do you think?
“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”
I had thought I might quit when the going gets rough (as indicated by the subtitle, it’s not a spoiler), but who could quit? Especially as I was dying to know how the author had such detailed information about the different stages of their polar journey. Also, the crew seemed to have a knack for overcoming impossible odds until…
Now THAT would be a spoiler. Read the book!
My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologizes, by Backman
The beginning of the book requires patience, but afterwards I found the book to be very engaging and enjoyed it. The book begins with rather too many details from the stories Elsa (almost 8 and gifted) is told by her “crazy” grandmother. While it is obvious that the stories are important to the plot, at that stage I found it hard to be interested in all their details.
However, once the plot really got going, I was really drawn in. Elsa’s family and neighbors, her feminist-trail blazing-unorthodox grandmother and Elsa herself are all rich and interesting characters.
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Not for me at all.
After enjoying the lovely concept in the first chapter of assigning books to cure people like a prescription for medicine, I lost patience with the book fairly quickly and abandoned ship.
I truly dislike platitudes about “what women want” or “what men are like”. And that’s just for starters…
Teaching English as a FOREIGN language to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students