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Look! Books!

Wow, Bernice. You found The Curious Incident... in Book Sale?! I hate you. Kick, kick. :) Seriously, that was perhaps my favorite book of the year. Read it in one night, and felt sadly strange and exhilarated afterwards. When The Reviewer asked me and Yvette to write about our top ten choices for books with a 2003 publication date, this is what I wrote about Mark Haddon's novel:

You would think that a book where the main character can't lie or tell jokes would be boring. "The Curious Incident..." lays such assumptions to rest. The novel's narrator is one Christopher Boone, a 15 year-old autistic boy whose favorite book is The Hound of the Baskervilles, and who takes it upon himself to solve the murder of his neighbor's dog. Filled with drawings, snippets of scientific fact and oddly logical musings, this amazing book is by turns wryly funny and heart-wrenching, and it takes us deep into a different way of seeing the world, with all its chaos and betrayals and rewards and wonders.

(I know, that Barbie cover is old. Almost a year old, actually. Sorry, couldn't find graphics for the new issue. And besides -- Barbie's cute.) My other choices included Paul Auster's The Book of Illusions, Menchu Aquino Sarmiento's Daisy Nueve (thanks to Mayo for the tip), and Jonathan Carroll's White Apples.

Speaking of The Reviewer, by the way, it's not a bad read, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a regular contributor. Never mind the somewhat outdated site; it's on its 6th bimonthly issue, and it's also now -- get this -- free. Sign up and find out what I'll be asked to do next! (For past issues, I've reviewed Educational Plans, a Business School, and Sunglasses).

Okay, my turn to give an account of recent bargain book finds. Got a hardbound copy of Morrissey and Marr in the Southmall branch of Book Sale. It's funny -- I was just reading an article in Uncut magazine, on the Smiths' last album, Strangeways, Here We Come -- it mentioned this book, and I remember thinking (being a longtime Smiths fan), "I wish I had a copy." And now I do! I love Book Sale too. :)

Also found a copy of Peter S. Beagle's The Unicorn Sonata. Publisher's Weekly says that it's

...a charming fantasy initially set in contemporary Los Angeles. A misfit 13-year-old girl, Joey Rivera, hears mysterious music and encounters an even more mysterious boy who calls himself Indigo. Thus begins a quest that leads Joey to the faerie land of Shei'rah, source of the music and home of the Old Ones, unicorns who are menaced by blindness. Indigo is a unicorn who has preferred to remain in our world in human form, but he helps Josephine to take her grandmother to Shei'rah and to cure the plague of blindness.

Sounds okay, but it'll have to be something really exceptional to be a worthy "successor" to Beagle's other unicorn-centric book, The Last Unicorn, which is one of my all-time favorites.

Oh, before I forget -- great big CONGRATULATIONS to Arnold and Cynthia, who got married last Saturday! :) Yvette and I were really happy to be there, and it was just great to be attending a wedding where we could look at the bride and groom and say, "It's about time -- you two are so right for each other!" (as opposed to some other weddings, where all you can say is, "Tsk tsk.") Will see if I can post some pix.

And finally, Happy New Year, everyone!

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Best described as a Murakami detox support group, we're all fans of the quirkily brilliant Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, and writing about such things as films we've seen recently and books we're reading (not to mention meandering musings on the man's work, of course) helps us to pass time while waiting for the next book from Haruki-baby.

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