Books to curl up with: a librarian's musings

Monday, April 27, 2009

Horse Boy

Horse Boy is Rupert Isaacson's story of his son's autism and the family's search for a healer. Isaacson has longstanding ties with shamans in Africa.

Isaacson and his wife meet in India and fall in love. They are living in Texas when their son, Rowan, is diagnosised with autism. Rowan's bonding with a neighbor's horse leads Issaacson's decision to look for shaman's in Mongolia and Siberia. The trip partly in a leopard interior van and partly on horse across Mongolia is eventful. He and his wife question their decision to pursue this trip for Rowan. The journey is funny and frustrating in turns. However in the end visting shaman's proves beneficial to Rowan. He isn't "cured", but he is now potty trained and no longer has the out of control temper tantrums that he did. His speech and behaviour is more interactive and complex.

What do I think of the book? It was well written and very interesting. It does seem like they found an answer for their son. Do I think I would go to Mongolia for a cure for my child? I might not be that "new age" a parent, but who knows what you will do for a child.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

India from a distance

Minal Hajratwala spins the tale of her family's scattering around the globe from India. Leaving India follows her family to Fiji, South Africa and America.

I enjoyed Hajratwala's memoir of her family and herself in pieces. I wasn't always sure it created a cohesive whole. It might have been interesting for her to have divided the book into two.

Frat boy in Paris

Frat boy may be too harsh a term for someone, who can charm readers as easily as Bryce Corbett can. And charm you with his tales of Paris he does. In a play on Nevil Shute's novel about Australia, Australian Corbett has dubbed his adventures A Town Like Paris.

When the book opens Corbett has followed his true love to London, only to no longer have that true love. So broken hearted and looking for a good time, he shoots off a resume for a job opening in Paris that he is totally unqualified for. The interview will be a free trip to Paris. So of course, he gets the job.

Once in Paris he has to find an apartment and a "posse" to hang with. Corbett regales you with the tales his clubbing, his feud with the lady who stickers his scooter and his love life. The love life doesn't go well until he meets the "Showgirl".

Corbett is younger than the average expat writer, so this is a lively ride through the city of lights.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Back in France

Well after several books I didn't enjoy as much, I'm back to my books set in France habit.

A Summer in Gascony tell the story of Martin Calder's summer job on a farm in the Gascony area of Southern France. The book is a nice mix of life on the farm and his adjustment to the rhythms of the land. From herding sheep to working with crops, Calder gets a good work out at Auberge, a farm and B&B. He also tells about the history area and it's links to England going back to Eleanor of Aquitaine. I was intrigued by the chapter on the Cagots, who for centuries lived on the outskirts of towns as a sort of unclean caste. This college student abroad also embarks on a summer romance with fellow student worker, Anja.

It was a quick read and quite enjoyable.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Sesame Street

Street Gang is the history of Sesame Street. However I don't think it was the history of Sesame Street that I was looking for.

Davis is a good writer, but for me there was too much about the early lives of the various creators in the show. I had thought it would be more about the actual making of Sesame Street. I did find Cooney's struggles to get the show on air and keep it on air interesting. The attempts to find an audience later in the show's history was also eye opening.

I finished the book, but think I am still wondering "how to get to Sesame Street".