It’s Monday, What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted over at Book Journey. I thought I’d join in with this meme as a way to be more consistent with my posting schedule, the idea is to post regularly. As I treat this blog as a book journal I thought it might be nice to have this kind of information documented.
Sweetland by Michael Crummey
For twelve generations, the inhabitants of a remote island in Newfoundland have lived and died together. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, they are facing resettlement. They have each been offered a generous compensation package to leave the island for good. There’s just one proviso: everyone must go.
Gradually, all of the residents surrender to the inevitable. All of the residents, that is, but one: old Moses Sweetland.
Motivated in part by a sense of history and belonging, and concerned that his somewhat eccentric great-nephew will wilt on the mainland, Moses resists the coercion of family and friends in order to hold onto the only place he’s ever called home. As his options dwindle, Moses Sweetland concocts a scheme to remain the island’s only living resident.
Cut off from the outside world, with the food supply diminishing and weather shredding away the last evidence of human habitation, Sweetland finds himself, finally, in the company of ghosts . . .
Written with incomparable emotional power and depth, Sweetland is a story about loyalty and courage, about the human will to persist even when all hope seems lost.
The Russian Debutante’s Handbook by Gary Shteyngart
The Russian Debutante’s Handbook introduces Vladimir Girshkin, one of the most original and unlikely heroes of recent times. The twenty-five-year-old unhappy lover to a fat dungeon mistress, affectionately nicknamed “Little Failure” by his high-achieving mother, Vladimir toils his days away as a lowly clerk at the bureaucratic Emma Lazarus Immigrant Absorption Society. When a wealthy but psychotic old Russian war hero appears, Vladimir embarks on an adventure of unrelenting lunacy that takes us from New York’s Lower East Side to the hip frontier wilderness of Prava–the Eastern European Paris of the nineties. With the help of a murderous but fun-loving Russian mafioso, Vladimir infiltrates the Prava expat community and launches a scheme as ridiculous as it is brilliant.
Bursting with wit, humour, and rare insight, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook is both a highly imaginative romp and a serious exploration of what it means to be an immigrant in America.
Girl at War by Sara Novic
Part war saga, part coming of age tale, part story of love and friendship, Girl at War is a powerful debut novel by a young writer who will appeal to readers of Anthony Marra, Téa Obreht, and Anthony Doerr.
“An unforgettable portrait of how war forever changes the life of the individual, Girl at War is a remarkable debut by a writer working with deep reserves of talent, heart, and mind.”—Gary Shteyngart
Zagreb, summer of 1991. Ten-year-old Ana Juric is a carefree tomboy who runs the streets of Croatia’s capital with her best friend, Luka, takes care of her baby sister, Rahela, and idolizes her father. But as civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, soccer games and school lessons are supplanted by sniper fire and air raid drills. When tragedy suddenly strikes, Ana is lost to a world of guerilla warfare and child soldiers; a daring escape plan to America becomes her only chance for survival.
Ten years later Ana is a college student in New York. She’s been hiding her past from her boyfriend, her friends, and most especially herself. Haunted by the events that forever changed her family, she returns alone to Croatia, where she must rediscover the place that was once her home and search for the ghosts of those she’s lost. With generosity, intelligence, and sheer storytelling talent, Sara Novic’s first novel confronts the enduring impact of war, and the enduring bonds of country and friendship.
Check out my reading stats from last week thanks to Literally.
* Books part of my reading challenge for 2015; re-reads and more books in translation
What Are You Reading?