Wednesday, June 15, 2016

1 Teaser and 1 Review

What is a "Teaser" you ask?  Well, this is a book that is not yet ready to be published.  In fact, it's currently being shopped to a publisher.  The author doesn't yet know when it will be order-able.  But I have read it and really liked it.  I'm looking forward to when I can do a full review, followed by you all buying your copy.  What's it called and what's it about?  Glad you asked.  It's called Alphabet Britain, by Lucy Feltham.  In a nutshell, what Lucy did is spend varying amounts of time with British subcultures from A-Z - literally.  We've all read novels and memoirs in which somebody has inserted themselves into a culture foreign to them for different purposes.  (One of my favorite novels is called The Faithful Spy, in which the hero, John Wells, a CIA man, goes undercover with Al Qaeda for 10 years!  Great book).  Well Lucy does it 26 times!  She writes with humor and poignancy while teaching us something about all of these subcultures that we didn't know.  Trust me on this one.

Here are the 1st 5:

Battle Re-enactors
Dog Showing

Curious?  You should be.  Stay tuned for updates.

The review is for a book called The Green Road, by Anne Enright.  This is her 9th book of fiction, to go along with one of non-fiction.  I will give you a few details, but the most important one is that it won the Man Booker Prize.  If you know me at all (and many of you who do will deny it!), I try to stay away from award-winners.  I only read this one because it's the June book for the Books, Inc. 4th Tuesday Evening Book Club.  And when I registered my concern at the last book club meeting, Margie assured me that isn't like a Pulitzer Prize winner; that it's definitely more readable.  Is that, in fact, true in this case? Wait for it...NOPE.  I generously gave it a 2/4 because it was at least readable.  And it was consistent, although not necessarily in a good way.  Here's the blurb:

Spanning thirty years, The Green Road tells the story of Rosaleen, matriarch of the Madigans, a family on the cusp of either coming together or falling irreparably apart. As they grow up, Rosaleen's four children leave the west of Ireland for lives they could have never imagined in Dublin, New York, and Mali, West Africa. In her early old age their difficult, wonderful mother announces that she’s decided to sell the house and divide the proceeds. Her adult children come back for a last Christmas, with the feeling that their childhoods are being erased, their personal history bought and sold.

Most of my notes have nothing to do with the story.  For example:

page 11, line 5B (bottom) - the expression "wide-mouth frog" is used.  That happens to be the protagonist of one of my favorite jokes of all time.  Ask me to tell it to you next time I see you.
page 21, line 15 - "Here come the waterworks" describes how the siblings talk about their sister.  This is exactly what my 3-year old granddaughter said when her 7-year old sister was getting ready to cry.
page 135 - 4B - a "nest of swifts" is referred to.  Shortly after we moved into our house in Los Gatos back in the early '80s, we were overrun by a flock of chimney swifts.  You should have seen the mess!
page 273, 9B - the siblings' mother, Rosaleen, says "What about me?"  Our aforementioned 3-year old granddaughter, when she was 2, used that exact same line when we were at the Santa Cruz aquarium.  She was too short to look into one of the pools and therefore uttered those famous words.

So you can see that my take-aways had nothing to do with the story.  Both Amazon and Goodreads had ratings of about 3.5/5.  That's definitely higher than my 2.5/5.  But, then again, lots of people like that literary stuff.  Me?  Not so much.


  1. Isn't if fun to read such an early copy of a book? Good luck to Lucy!

  2. Yeah, it is. I think the book will ultimately do well.