I absolutely loved this book. It's a book you can lose yourself in. My copy of the book had eight pages of accolades in the front telling you how much you were going to enjoy this book. Examples: This one from the New York Times Book Review, "Wroblewski's literary skill is most apparent in his intoxicating descriptions of the bucolic setting...he handles his task with impressive subtlety." From Books & Culture, "The literary sensation of the season...You may want to trust me and get the book right now...Fresh and unpredictable to the end. Wroblewski has an uncanny ability to make palpable for us the bones and muscles of his characters." And even this one from O, The Oprah Magazine, "Whether you read for the beauty of language or for the intricacies of plot, you will easily fall in love with David Wroblewski's generous, almost transcendentally lovely debut novel, ...The scope of this book, its psychological insight, and lyrical mastery, make it one of the best novels of the year." There is a quote from Stephen King on the back that says: "I flat-out loved The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Wonderful, mysterious, long, and satisfying: readers...are going to enter a richer world. I envy them the trip."
Hype, or reality? For me, it was reality. From the first page, I was drawn into this lush dream of a book. From the opening back story set in South Korea to the unforgettable conclusion on the Sawtelle farm, this book that is part mystery, part thriller, part ghost story, had a grip on my imagination that made it extremely hard for me to lay the book down.
Edgar Sawtelle and his family, his father Gar and his mother Trudy, live on a farm and breed dogs. Edgar is mute and has a pet dog, Almondine, who has looked after him since birth. Edgar's father's brother, Claude, returns to the farm after a stint in the service to help them out. The stay is short lived because he has fights with his brother and after a huge one, he storms off. A short time later Edgar finds his father in the barn, dying mysteriously. Unable to call for help, he watches his father die.
After they bury Gar, Edgar and Trudy try to keep the family business going, but when the mother catches pneumonia and Edgar has an accident with the dogs, they are forced to call on Claude for help. When Claude returns to the farm he also manages to work his way into Edgar's mother's affections and Edgar becomes grief stricken and bewildred because he has begun to suspect that Claude had something to do with his father's death. Circumstance forces Edgar and three of the Sawtelle dogs to flee into the wilderness beyond the farm where he fights for his survival and regroups for the final return home and confrontation with Claude.
Wroblewski is a master storyteller and this big, mesmerizing read is wildly satisfying. I highly recommend it.
On the Farm: Robert William Pickton and the Tragic Story of Vancouver’s Missing Women
"I'm actually not so crazy about reading books on the iPad.... This became clear when I decided to buy my favorite book this season, As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto, as well as another treat, In Tearing Haste: Letters Between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor. That's the moment I realized the iPad was wrong for book reading. I just couldn't bear to read these electronically. I needed to go to a beautiful bookstore and buy the hard copy and hold it and admire the type and the feel of it. Real books mean wandering around the store, talking to the owner about what's new and great, reading a few pages, buying it, carrying it with me. My iPad works hard enough for me that it doesn't need to download books. Friends love their Kindles and Kobos and I understand, but my heart leaps with the actual book, not the virtual one. And surely I'm not the only one."
This article in the New York Times highlighted a jump in sales of YA e-books this past year. It is too soon to tell whether young adults will stick with these devices in the long run, or grow bored and move on to the next new gadget.
Something to keep in mind in this whole e-book versus physical book debate...
--James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress
In a Newsweek poll of "some literary brains on the future of reading," James Billington had these comments to make:
"The new immigrants don't shoot the old inhabitants when they come in. One technology tends to supplement rather than supplant. How you read is not as important as: will you read? And will you read something that's a book--the sustained train of thought of one person speaking to another? Search techniques are embedded in e-books that invite people to dabble rather than follow a full train of thought. This is part of a general cultural problem."
Good books. Good times. Good stories. Good rhymes. Good beginnings. Good ends. Good people. Good friends. Good fiction. Good facts. Good adventures. Good acts. Good stories. Good rhymes. Good books. Good times.
Yeah, Reading is Sexy
A Whale for the Killing by Farley Mowat
All Over But the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
How Now Shall We Live by Charles Colson
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Parchment of Leaves by Silas House
River of Earth by James Still
Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg
The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A. J. Jacobs
The Mitford series by Jan Karon
The Stand by Stephen King
This quote from Eudora Welty captures perfectly how I feel about books and reading
"I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them -- with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself."
Get Caught Reading
Want to find time to read? Fall in book love. Seek out the books that fire your passions. Follow your intellect and your heart. Then time will find you. ...Steve Leveen
Stop thinking this is all there is...
Realize that for every ongoing war and religious outrage and environmental devastation, there are a thousand counter-balancing acts of staggering generosity and humanity and art and beauty happening all over the world, right now, on a breathtaking scale, from flower box to cathedral.
Resist the temptation to drown in fatalism, to shake your head and sigh and just throw in the karmic towel.
Realize that this is the perfect moment to change the energy of the world, to step right up and crank your personal volume; right when it all seems dark and bitter and offensive and acrimonious and conflicted and bilious...there's your opening!
And, finally, believe you are part of a groundswell, a resistance, a seemingly small but actually very, very large impending karmic overhaul, a great shift, the beginning of something important and potent and unstoppable.
...Mark Morford, Newspaper Columnist and Yoga Instructor
CONAN THE LIBRARIAN
I read as if time were running out, because technically it is. As I grow older, I find I'm increasingly impatient with mediocre entertainments: I want books that will take my breath away and realign my vision...Barbara Kingsolver
Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill...Barbara Techman (Writer)
Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul...Samuel Ullman
Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order...John Adams, 2nd President of the U.S.
Every page allows me to live in the main character's thoughts and marvel at how all of us who grew up poor and female are bonded, regardless of where we were raised or who raised us. I not only feel I know this person, but I also recognize more of myself. That's just one of the great joys of reading. Insight, escape, information, knowledge, power. All that and more can come through a good book...If you're going to binge, literature is definitely the way to do it...Oprah Winfrey
"I'm of a fearsome mind to throw my arms around every living librarian who crosses my path, on behalf of the souls they never knew they saved."
Asking a Librarian her favorite book is like asking a Mother her favorite child
So you want to become a librarian? Welcome to a vibrant and exciting profession. Click here.
The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen. Health and strength may fail. But what you have committed to your mind, is yours forever...Louis Lamour
You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.Just get people to stop reading them. ..... Ray Bradbury
I LOVE NEIL GAIMAN
Do yourself a favor and read American Gods, Anansi Boys, Fragile Things, Smoke & Mirrors, The Graveyard Book, MirrorMask, or Good Omens
Love the Fantasy/SciFi genre
Many good authors to try, John Scalzi is one of the newer ones
Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant, interesting...Aldous Huxley
The Chronicles of Narnia are an excellent read!
I was an adult before I read these books...how sad...
BOOKS: The Other Channel
My lifelong love affair with books and reading continues unaffected by automation, computers, and all other forms of the twentieth-century gadgetry. — Books in My Life Robert DOWNS (1903- )
A room without books is like a body without a soul. .....Marcus T. Cicero
To feel most beautifully alive means to be reading something beautiful, ready always to apprehend in the flow of language the sudden flash of poetry. ......Gaston Bachelard
The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries. — Cosmos Carl SAGAN
The library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life. — Cited in ALA Bulletin, Oct. 1954, p.475 Norman COUSINS (1915- )