I completed just four books this past week. Two are books I’ve been meaning to read for a very long time. One of them, we’ll never know the ending the author had intended.
First, is Diane Ackerman’s The Zookeeper’s Wife, which is about Jan and (mostly) Antonia Żabiński, two Warsaw Christians who helped many during the war and were involved in the Resistance. I wasn’t terribly impressed with the writing. It is my understanding that much of this was taken from Antonia’s journals, and Ms Ackerman wrote it more to read like a novel. Since I’m biased toward reading journals “raw”, I wish they had been included and interspersed were transcriptions of interviews or letters or more photographs. I’m not sure I recommend this book, and that’s difficult for me to say. It’s probably why I write such pathetic reviews, I don’t want to criticize, but this book definitely left me without feeling that I came to know the full story [which might not be possible].
Next up is the Norton Critical Edition of Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. As I wrote yesterday, I love Ms Montgomery and Anne. I’ve had my eye on the Critical Edition ever since I had word that it was to be published. I was quite excited (and a bit surprised, though on reflection not so surprised) to find a copy in my Uni library. It had been several years (at least six) since I last sat down to spend some time with Anne. I was surprised at how differently I read it this time. I’m still rereading the criticisms against parts of the text and am slowly plugging my way through LMM’s journal entries (which I took out separately), and am back in love. If you know someone who loves Anne, I suggest first checking with family and friends and then gifting them with the critical edition and LMM’s journals. I can’t imagine how that couldn’t delight. Now I just have to track down (my/a) copy of Anne of Avonlea and figure out what I’m knitting for the KAL and I’ll be set.
Third is the surprise of all surprises. I’ve owned this book for some eight years and have heard my friends talk of their love or hatred of it for some ten. I actually read Foundation by Isaac Asimov, and enjoyed it! I had never made it further than perhaps the first chapter or two in years past so I was quite surprised to finish it. I wonder if now I’ll finally find the desire to finish Shogun?
Finally, I read The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Mr Jordan recently lost his battle with a rare blood disease, amyloidosis. It is in honour of this master story teller, who wrote with strong unique characters (both male and female) that I will slowly read the Wheel of Time series. If you haven’t read this series, I suggest you try it. I’m hooked and the 800 pages of the first book flew by.