Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fiction Book Suggestion: Our Former Lives in Art

Another thing I accomplished yesterday was reading "Our Former Lives in Art" by Jennifer S. Davis. Again, I checked it out from the local library. It is a collection of short stories about people, but with some fantastical elements showing up amongst the realism. Nothing that totally separates the stories from the actual world we live in, it is more just showing how we don't understand everything about the actual world.

There ARE adult themes. There are Christian themes (for and against). People in the stories make some bad choices, or redeem past bad choices. The writing is good - detailed enough to understand why characters are doing what they do, sparse enough that you use your imagination to fill in the rest. Each story goes quickly, and I found myself looking back at the title of each chapter after the vignette was finished for one more clue.

Here is one of my favorite passages:
"You never asked me about my eye," Alfred says. "I don't think anyone's spent more than an hour with me without asking about my eye."

"You never asked me what I want to do after high school," Lily says. "Or if I have a boyfriend. Or if I have nightmares. Or if I want to talk about it. Or," - she smiles - "my real name."

So there you go. Check it out if you get a chance. I usually pick books at the library by going to the new-releases area and scanning for interesting covers. This one has a picture of a knitted-doll-toilet-paper-roll-cover, sitting on the top of a toilet. I read the blurb on the leaf and if it doesn't sound like a plot I'm tired of, I flip to the middle of the book and read a few paragraphs. If there is any chance I'd enjoy it, I check it out. We're paying enough in property taxes, and the library is the most we get for it, so I don't feel bad at all for hauling home a large stack of books and renewing them three times.

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