Thursday, July 12, 2007

Books Update

While I've mostly been concentrating on my Harry Potter reread of late, I've also been enjoying (or not) a few other titles that might (or might not) be of interest.

Kira-Kira, by Cynthia Kadohata

Kira-Kira means glittering in Japanese, and for Katie and her sister Lynn, everything is Kira-kira. Lynn is Katie's brilliant older sister. Her best friend, and only confidante. The girls are brought even closer together when they move with their family from Iowa to a town in Georgia where they are among the only 32 Japanese people. Then, as they begin to adjust to their new life, Lynn begins to grow tired regularly. As Lynn becomes sick more often, Katie finds herself caring for bother her older sister and her younger brother, and becoming estranged from her parents who are both working almost continuously to pay for Lynn's medical bills. Told from Katie's perspective, this is a heartbreaking and beautiful story. But, like many of its fellow Newberry medal winners, I think it has more appeal for adults or older readers. It is a beautiful story about children, but not necessarily for children. Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps by grade 8 this story would resonate. It is lovely, and for adults, a story that will leave you laughing and crying.

The Guardian, by Nicholas Sparks

There are several gentlemen at my library who like to listen to audiobooks while following along in the book as a way of practicing their English. Several of these gents have recommended that I listen to a Nicholas Sparks book. I have to say, I was skeptical. Having seen both The Notebook and A Walk to Remember I figured it would be saccharine and sentimental romantic rubbish. But, being made curious by the concept of retired gentlemen of not-perhaps-the-most-open-to-men-showing-their-emotions-cultures reading sappy romance, I took the plunge. While not what I would call high quality literature, The Guardian was an enjoyable listen. More a thriller than a bodice-ripper, but with enough romance to keep me interested, it proved quite suspenseful and exciting. Before I give Nicholas Sparks blanket approval I think I'll listen to another. In the meantime, The Guardian would be a fun beach read or road trip listen.


Maggie said...

My daughter *loves* that Nicholas Sparks book. I still can't force myself to read him, though. ;P

MadJenny said...

I know. I've been the same way. After seeing those Nicholas Sparks movies I thought he'd be gag worthy and stomach ache inducing. And really, it is not the best literature. It is pop fiction. But, I kind of enjoyed it for the car. Right now I'm listening to The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, and it is a bit heavy for early morning driving - even though it is a beautiful book.