Monday, December 17, 2012

The Monday Mention: Two for One


With the end of the year looming and a backlog of books to talk about, I'm doubling up on today's Monday Mention.

Where'd You Go Bernadette 
by Maria Semple

I was already on my library's waiting list for this novel when Amy's post appeared in my google reader.   Given my weakness for epistolary novels, her description of the narrative as "a crazy quilt of emails, faxes, police records, and Bee's (the middle school daughter of Bernadette) narration" sent me straight to the bookstore. The plot revolves around Bernadette's disappearance prior to a family trip to Antarctica -the trip itself is Bee's reward for getting perfect grades throughout middle school. This novel is full of family dysfunction, but it's pure fun.
My rating:




The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry 
by Rachel Joyce
This novel was an unexpected gem! Recently retired, unassuming Harold Fry leads a quiet life. One day he receives a letter from an old friend, Queenie Hennessey, who is dying of cancer. He walks to the mailbox to post his response but decides to deliver it personally instead. Thus, Harold sets off on his unusual journey.  I know it sounds strange, but this was incredibly heartwarming book, and one of my favorites of 2012. For a more complete review, check out what Marie has to say.
My rating:

20 comments:

  1. I love Where'd You Go, Bernadette. The characters were quirky and fun. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is sitting in my kindle right now waiting to be read. I've heard great things about it..I do enjoy a heartwarming novel.

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    1. Melissa - You are in for a treat with Harold Fry!

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    1. Amy - I'd probably still be on the hold list if it wasn't for your review. Thanks!

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  3. Wow, that was weird. I was typing my comment, and it just disappeared!! Anyway, what I was saying...Kathy I think is loaning me Bernadette on audio, so I look forward to that. And Harold was a total gem, and I didn't see it coming until the author pulled the rug right out from under me! What a beautiful book.

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    1. Sandy - Can't wait to hear what you think of Bernadette. Will be curious to see how it translates to audio.

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  4. Harold's story is definitely one of my top favourites of the year, too.

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    1. Cat - Harold's journey is so touching.. can't imagine anyone not liking this book.

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  5. Love Harold's story...that one really took me by surprise because it is a very quiet book in so many ways. The ending sucker punched me, but I did have that gut feeling that all was not right. I will be reading Bernadette in 2013..dysfunctional families are something that I'm quite drawn to!

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    1. Staci - Harold's story must have near universal appeal. You're in for a treat with Bernadette, too!

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  6. I've wanted to read both of these for a while, but they are always checked out at my library. I think I will try Harold on audio - I've heard it is really great. I think we could all use a heartwarming story these days.

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    1. Anbolyn - Harold Fry gets very high marks on the audio version, too. I'll be curious to see how you like it.

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  7. I had Harold in my hand at the library last week, but I put it back because I knew I wouldn't get to it in time - too many other books piling up. But I'm adding it to my someday list.

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    1. Lisa May - I know that feeling! Just got an email from the library that two books I requested are in - now do I read those or continue with Washington Square? Decisions, decisions...

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  8. I loved Bernadette! I still haven't read Harold Fry, but I think I'll take a tip from you and listen to it ... in that copious free time I have.

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    1. Beth F - Bernadette was such fun! I actually read Harold Fry, but the ratings on audible are very high... should be a good listen, too.

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  9. I really liked Harold Fry and have Bernadette in audio on my iPod. Hope all is going well --pre holiday.

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    1. Diane - A couple of people have mentioned Bernadette on audio. I'm curious to see how it is done.

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  10. Ok Ms. JoAnn--I picked up Harold Fry for my stepmom for Christmas. Will keep you posted. ;)

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    1. Trish - Ugh oh, the pressure in on... hope she loves it! It seems like everyone does :-)

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