Thursday, May 21, 2015


I've got a few random things (am I a wordsmith, or what?) to tell you.

1.  I saw today that JoJo Moyes' Me Before You, which I gave a 4/4 in 2013, is coming to the big screen.  Admittedly, it's not until June 3, 2016, but it's coming.  I'll be there.

2.  Tuesday night was the Los Gatos Library Evening Book Club.  Our book was Still Alice, by Lisa Genova.  I recently reviewed it and liked it a lot.  If you remember, I gave it a 3.25/4, even though I had already seen the movie.  In fact, if I hadn't seen the movie, I think the book would have been a 3.5/4.

But here's the interesting part of the story.  We had 3 women there that had never been to a meeting before.  2 of the 3 were completely silent during the 1st 50 minutes.  Then, with about 10 minutes left, 1 of those 2 said:  "It's time for me to speak up."  She proceeded to tell us that her younger sister was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers at the age of 45 and died at 55.  It was understandably very emotional for her.  But, wait, there's more.  Her mom, who is 92, has had Alzheimers for 17 years!  This is one brave woman to come to our meeting and talk about her experiences and emotions.

3.  And speaking of the Los Gatos Library Evening Book Club, we got our books and dates for the next 3 months.  Here they are:

June 16 - March, by Geraldine Brooks
July 21 - A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki
August 18 - The Rosie Project, by Graeme Stinson

Melissa Maglio has been running this book club for 5 years.  And she does a great job.  If you've got the time, come on down.  We start at 6:30 and end at 7:30.  You don't have to RSVP.  And Melissa usually has a stack of books for the next month's selection to borrow. Lots of fun.

4.  I'm going to give you a mini-review of The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl.  Since it's part of a post with multiple random thoughts, and it's #4, I obviously didn't love it.  In fact, all I could give it is a 2.5/4.  Pearl is the bestselling author of The Dante Club, along with 3 other novels (none of which I've read).  But this one came to me in an ARC, so I read it. What's it about?  Here's the Goodreads blurb:

From the author of The Dante Club, Matthew Pearl, The Last Bookaneer is the astonishing story of these literary thieves’ epic final heist. On the island of Samoa, a dying Robert Louis Stevenson labors over a new novel. The thought of one last book from the great author fires the imaginations of the bookaneers, and soon Davenport sets out for the South Pacific island. As always, Davenport is reluctantly accompanied by his assistant Fergins, who is whisked across the world for one final caper. Fergins soon discovers the supreme thrill of aiding Davenport in his quest to steal Stevenson’s manuscript and make a fortune before the new treaty ends the bookaneers’ trade forever. But Davenport is hardly the only bookaneer with a mind to pirate Stevenson’s last novel. His longtime adversary, the monstrous Belial, appears on the island, and soon Davenport, Fergins, and Belial find themselves embroiled in a conflict larger, perhaps, than literature itself.

Why didn't I much care for it?  I'm not sure.  I recognize that Pearl writes well.  And I automatically like any story about books and authors.  And, moreover (really?), a lot of the book is about Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa, which is all true.  In fact, his book, A Footnote to History, is actually non-fiction about Samoa and is referenced in The Bookaneer.  But having said all of that, my response is "So what?"  None of it really mattered to me.  In fact, on page 59, I considered stopping and registering it as a DNF (did not finish).  I ended up plowing ahead and was not sorry that I did.  If you have liked other Pearl books, then I guess I would recommend that you read this one.  Otherwise, I'm pretty sure this is my first/last one.

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