The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed this novel despite the reader: Scott Brick's delivery and voice personified the "bad" AJ Fikry, the pedantic and patronizing, lonely and isolated man who appears in the start of the book. It's a novel about growth, and it's a novel about reading as well, and eventually I could ignore Brick's voice and fall into the depths of the story itself. It's a little fluffy, but it raises great ideas about human relationships, reading, the role of books, and, finally, the role of our brains in this amazing world we've (at least partially) created. Zevin has a line that captures what I've thought about often. . . . I don't have the exact text since I listened to this book as opposed to reading it, but when AJ goes to see his doctor, he marvels about having to use his brain to understand what is happening to his brain. I remember that same sense of wonder when I was taking AP Bio and learning neuroscience (BABY neuroscience, but still!).
This is a delicate and enjoyable book. I wish I had a list of all the short stories AJ recommends: perhaps I'll stop into the library and copy them down!
Emma by Jane Austen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Juliet Stevenson does an amazing job of presenting Emma: each character is distinct, and the infamous "Mrs. E." and the sweetly overwhelming Miss Bates are topnotch. I've read, seen, and listened to this work probably 6 times, and Stevenson's version does a fantastic job of highlighting the wit, insight, and satire of Austen's novel.
Highly, highly, highly recommended on all fronts.
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It's the 4th! Amazingly, the whole family (sans our Norge girl, of course) is around for most of the day. We may get visited by Hurricane Arthur, so our tentative outdoor plans for fireworks and concerts may be disrupted by downpours and high winds, but I plan to head to Hannaford's for pectin, sugar, and jars so I can turn my 10 lbs of lovely fresh picked berries into jam!
Other than that: family time, I guess! Or I could tackle the dining room and decluttering. . . .