professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

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rolling blackouts and reading

It's not easy to finish books when you are subject to unannounced rolling blackouts in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita. It is also tough to read when said blackouts are hours long in the middle of the day when outside temps are in triple digits. However, read I did. David Klass' DARK ANGEL was an absorbing story of Jeff whose older brother Troy has been serving a life sentence for murder. When Troy is released on a technicality, Jeff knows his quiet life is about to end. Troy's return means the end of Jeff's relationship with his girlfriend, his best friends, and his soccer team eventually. To complicate matters more, Troy may be involved in the disappearance of one of Jeff's teammates. This is not a fast paced survival story. Instead, Klass examines the impact of Troy's return on Jeff's family and friends. It is more of an interior study much like YOU DON'T KNOW ME. Like YDKM, this novel has flashes of great good humor as well as the dark story of Troy's violent streak.

Since the power was out all afternoon and my head was throbbing from a root canal this morning as well, I thought I'd opt for something a little lighter and read the new Kate DiCamillo due out in February of 2006. THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE was a perfect antidote for the heat and the pain. I thought I would never say something like this, but here is a new classic. In some ways it is reminiscent of THE VELVETEEN RABBIT but with less mawkishness (is that even a word?. Edward Tulane is a china rabbit owned by Abilene Tulane, a rabbit fashioned especially for her by her grandmother. Before Abilene and her family set sail on the Queen Mary, grandma tells them a story about a princess who cared nothing about love and was transformed into a warthog by a witch. Where is this heading, I wondered. Well, Edward is lost overboard the ship and his real journey begins. Along the way he comes to understand why love matters. The ending, while predictable, is satisfying and justified and perfect. The suggested audience is younger but I think this magical story, told by one of the best new storytellers out there, will charm older readers as well. Illustrations will be brilliant, too. It takes less than a hour to read, but resonates long after the reading ends. Thanks Edward and Kate for curing my toothache!

I now have 2 new books started and we still have weeks of blackouts, so stay tuned.
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