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Month in review

Reviews
Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello
And a Bottle of Rum by Wayne Curtis
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan
Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury
A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve
City of Spies by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan
Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals
The Daddy Book by Todd Parr
The End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson
Filipinos in Alaska by Thelma Buchholdt
Fullmetal Alchemist 05 by Hiromu Arakawa
Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
Junonia by Kevin Henkes
Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto
Looking Like Me by Walter Dean Myers
My Dog Toby by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha
Olivia Goes to Venice by Ian Falconer
Once Wicked, Always Dead by T. Marie Benchley
Our Lady of Immaculate Deception by Nancy Martin
The Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt
Something to Do by David Lucas
Stella, Princess of the Sky by Marie-Louise Gay
The Tale of the Namelss Chameleon by Brenda Carre
A Toast to Tomorrow by Manning Coles
Tuey's Course by James Ross
Tyranny by Lesley Fairfield
Vampire Theory by Lily Caracci
Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



The Lake: 07/05/11

cover art

"When things get really bad, you take comfort in the placeness of a place."

The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto was originally published in 2005 as Mizuumi. The proceeds from this beautiful and haunting translation by Michael Emmerich will go towards Japanese tsunami relief.

Chihiro, the narrator of the novel, is coming to terms with the death of her mother and her new status as an adult on her own. Her father is living but she has always been closest to her mother and she feels now is the time to be herself, whatever that means.

Chihiro starts her story off describing her mother and father's unusual romance and to some degree how growing up in a night club affected her childhood. But it's written in a detached, trancelike fashion. She also speaks of her mother's illness and death and sleeping on the floor of the hospital room.

Then things change focus to Nakajima, the man in her life. He's clearly a somewhat broken, fragile person but the two of them make an odd but comfortable couple. Most of Lake is her discovery of his past.

From reading through reviews already posted, many reviewers are upset over the blurb on the back of the book (and the description provided with the book on GoodReads and Amazon). Since I was reading an eGalley, I didn't have a back of the book to read. If I had, I would have.

So rather than spoil the book, let me describe Nakajima as I saw him in my head. Physically he is described as an older version of Kimihiro Watanuki: tall, very thin, prone to fainting and living on his own as long as anyone can remember. Now take Watanuki and give him a childhood experience similar to that of the protagonist in Ghost Hound and you get Nakajima.

My only complaint, and it's a minor one, is that the book took a little to long to get started. Chihiro lingering over her mother's illness takes a while to get through. It's a bit maudlin and her mother doesn't strike me as somone who would have enjoyed such a drawn out memorial.

Four stars.

Review read courtesy of NetGalley

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