My niece has recommended Min Jin Lee's new first novel, Free Food for Millionaires, as maybe "the best novel by a new author that I've read in years." That's high praise from Ann, who reads more than I do.
Publisher's Weekly liked it too. Clever title, great cover. Gotta go see if the library has it. [It does!]
The other night I watched the movie, "Dear Frankie." It was one of the "coming attractions" on "Bride and Prejudice," which I watched recently, and it looked good so I requested it from Netflix. I was particularly interested because of the Irish accents of the characters and I thought I'd get to see some Irish scenery.
So much for my linguistic skills. The accent is Scottish and the movie takes place in Glasgow. (I did get to see some spectacular Scottish scenery.) It's a good movie with exceptionally good acting, especially by the children.
While exploring the catalog of Unbridled Books, the independent publisher I mentioned in an earlier post, I came across some promising books. This one is called Mohr and it's by Frederick Reuss. (I actually came across about six books that look promising, but this one is particularly unusual and engaging.)
Here's what the publisher says about it:
"Frederick Reuss has created a love story of historic proportions. Mohr: A Novel is about a man and wife whose life together is marked irreparably by a deeply troubled and world-testing era.
"With the sort of enthralling narrative step that always marks his work, Reuss allows their story to rise from a cache of photographs he uncovered in Germany—photographs from the 1920s and ’30s of the exiled Jewish playwright and novelist Max Mohr; Käthe, the beautiful wife he left behind; and Eva, their daughter, who would live through it all but would never really understand what had happened.
"The interplay between Reuss’s revealing prose and the real faces in nearly 50 photographs offers a reading experience that may be unprecedented in novels. From the first paragraph and that first creased image, which Eva may have taken, of the Mohrs at their table in Germany just before Max walked away from their lives, this beautiful and powerful novel works as deeply on the reader as a family photo album."
If that doesn't snag you nothing will. I'm eager to see those photos and discover how Reuss has used them to create this rich fictional world. Fortunately, considering the condition the book budget is in these days, the library has the book. I've requested it and I'll report in later to let you know what I think.
Max Mohr, by the way, was the uncle of the author's grandfather. His great-grand uncle? His uncle thrice removed?
National Public Radio broadcast a four-part series recently called "Crime in the City" about the books of four mystery writers: Michael Connelly (LA), John Burdett (Bangkok), Donna Leon (Venice), and Laura Lippman (Baltimore). They interviewed the authors on location. The whole thing was very well done and has sent Wilhelm off on an armchair adventure to Bangkok and Los Angeles.
I'm already a fan of Connelly, Leon, and Lippman. I'll let you know what I think about Bangkok when I get back . . .
A lady recently wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper, the Spokesman-Review, commenting on how lovely Duncan Gardens looks this year:
"If you have not seen the 'jewel' of Spokane, take time to drive through Manito Park to see the Duncan Gardens. They are the most beaufitul that I have seen them in 80 years. Yes, 80 years ago I saw them for the first time, and almost every year since. Thank you, Spokane Parks Department, for this most beautiful display this year."
Karla and I tell ourselves every day how fortunate we are to live so close to the park and to be able to walk through this garden every single day.