Friday, October 25, 2013

The Dinner by Herman Koch

This story takes places during the entirety of a dinner between two couples: brothers and their wives to discuss an event that their sons took part in. As dinner goes on, the story unfolds of what happened one night and what can be done to remedy it. Each couple has their own idea for what can be done to solve it, but one couple holds the final say.

When I put this book on hold, it was mainly out of curiosity to see how far someone could take a book over what can reasonably happen in the course of 90 minutes. Other books, such as Gone with the Wind, take place over years and it was interesting to see someone flesh out a complete story over the course of 300 pages and how Koch wove the story together.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell

I really enjoyed this book, I thought it was very unique. Bonus: the author is from England, so I had to infer some of the things she was talking about.

The story is told from three points of view: Marnie, Nelly, and Lennie.  Marnie and Nelly are sisters and Lennie is the neighbor next door. Together, they tell the story of Marnie and Nelly's father being murdered by Nelly and later their mother being found hung (suicide) in their shed. This occurs during winter and with the girls being 13 and 15 and Marnie one year from being considered an adult and able to take care of them both, they have to keep of the facade that their parents went on vacation. Meanwhile, they bury them in the backyard and plant lavender bushes on top of their graves to help camouflage what happened. To keep their secret alive, they have to deal with their maternal grandfather looking for his daughter, their father's drug supplier wanting money, and the school officials poking around. Lennie keeps an eye on the girls and eventually they end up taking care of each other. But their lies keep building and Nelly begins to crack. Can they hold it together until Marnie turns 16?

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

I actually went to see Marissa Meyer and Malina Lo speak at Wordstock in early October! I have never gone to see an author speak, and it was a very interesting experience. They talked about their inspirations (such as the retelling of fairy tales in a futuristic, dystopian world) and future works. But I digress...

Scarlet is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood (which Marissa told us the actual Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, which is actually very creepy in nature). Scarlet meets a street fighter named Wolf while trying to find out who kidnapped her grandmother, where they were holding her, and how to get her out. Meanwhile, our protagonist from the first Lunar Chronicles, Cinder, needs to escape her prison cell so she will not be deported back to Luna and killed by her aunt who wants to marry Prince Kai and rule Earth.

The third installment, Cress, releases next year and is based on the story of Rapunzel.