February 2008
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
242526272829  

My Material Is Copyrighted

Site Meter

Sites Where I Review Books

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

pikerpresslogo.jpg

AWARDS


BBAW AWARDS


Winner Best Literary Fiction Blog - 2008
Shortlisted for Best Literary Fiction Blog - 2009, 2010
Longlisted for Best Literary Fiction Blog - 2011 Shortlisted Best Written Book Blog - 2010

Daily archives for February 22nd, 2008

Wrap Up – Unread Author’s...

Wrap Up – Unread Author’s Challenge

I completed this challenge today! I read five (5) books from my original list and one (1) book from my alternates list. You can view my entire list with links to reviews here.

I enjoyed all the new authors I read, rating 4 of the 6 a high 4.5/5 (highly recommended), and 2 of the 6 a 4/5 rating (recommended).

My favorite part of the challenge was adding to my “new to me” author list. For a long time I was stuck in a rut of only reading those authors I was familiar with…in 2007, I decided to branch out and try to read more new authors. This has really expanded my reading, and added to my favorite authors to choose from!

I would definitely participate in this challenge were it to be offered again. Thank you Ariel for hosting a fabulous reading challenge!!

Alentejo Blue – Book Review

Alentejo Blue – Book Review

She wore her black slingbacks and a white cotton dress with blue flowers that matched the paint that framed the door. Alentejo blue. here she was, in a picture, in a moment, setting out for the rest of her life. -From Alentejo Blue, page 131-

Monica Ali’s novella – Alentejo Blue – is a collection of moments lived by its vast array of characters. The Alentejo region of Portugal -located in south-central Portugal and known for its tiny, medieval villages – is the perfect setting for Ali’s book, which seems to be a collection of interconnected, short stories. Ali is adept at exploring her characters’ inner lives. The reader is gradually introduced to the inhabitants of the fictional town of Mamarrosa: Joao, an old timer who has seen the days of Communism and remembers the revolution of the peasants;  Vasco, the baker whose obesity and compulsion with eating hides his painful losses; Teresa, a young woman who longs to break away from the village of her birth; Sophie and Huw, an engaged couple whose holiday to Portugal uncovers the deeper issues of their relationship; Elaine, a middle-aged English woman seeking meaning in her tired marriage; Stanton, the alcoholic writer living a shallow existence; and the Potts family, living a dysfunctional existence far from their home in England. As the novella unwinds, the reader glimpses the connections between characters and the main themes evolve.

There is a theme of “old” world vs. “new” – highlighted by the elderly, traditional members of the village vs. the youth and tourists. Change is in the air, but it is unclear whether it will be for the best, or will simply disrupt the flow of village life.

So we stay as we are and watch the shadows lengthen and smell the evening loaves being baked and fell the sun slipping low, blushing over our necks like the first taste of wine. -From Alentejo Blue, page 94-

Ali’s lyrical prose transports the reader into the countryside of Portugal.

The plains spread out on either side. Here and there a cork oak stood grieving. The land rose and fell in modest dimensions. Now and again a gleam of machinery, glittering drops of water on an acacia, a giant eucalyptus shedding its splintery scrolls. Field upon field upon field, wheat and grass and fallow, on and on and on, and in this flat composition there was a depth, both sadness and tremulous joy. -From Alentejo Blue, page 163-

This novel was listed as a 2006 New York Times Most Notable book – and I think it is deserving of that honor. Ali is a gifted writer with great understanding and sensitivity to her characters – picking up Alentejo Blue was like relaxing into small town life, chatting with the neighbors and observing the ebb and flow of the days beneath a Portugal sun. I will be reading more of Ali’s novels in the future.

Highly recommended.

follow us in feedly

Publishers and Authors…

I am no longer accepting review copies of books except for very rare exceptions. Thank you.

Categories

Rating System

= Excellent
= Good/Very Good
= Okay read
= Not recommended
= Ugh! Don't waste your time.

Fabric

Bee Groups

DoGoodStitchesblogbutton

Book Giveaways

None Current.