THE CAT’S TABLE by Michael Ondaatje

In his new novel, THE CAT’S TABLE, Michael Ondaatje imagines a young boy’s three-week sea voyage across the oceans, from his home in Colombo, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) to England. The eleven-year-old travels alone and is, not surprisingly, allocated to the “lowly” Cat’s Table, where he joins an odd assortment of adults and two other boys of similar age.

October 7, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Facing History, Literary

ALTHOUGH OF COURSE YOU END UP BECOMING YOURSELF by David Lipsky

There is that question we asked one another in college: Who in history, if you could meet and talk to whomever you wished, would you select?… Reading Lipsky’s book, ALTHOUGH OF COURSE YOU END UP BEING YOURSELF, reads like a contemporary answer to the “who would you choose” hypothesis. Wallace is gone now, but what if you could just spend a few days with him, even a few hours? What was the man like, really? By his work, he will be remembered. But what of the man?

July 20, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Non-fiction

WHERE MEN WIN GLORY by Jon Krakauer

WHERE MEN WIN GLORY, by Jon Krakauer, is a book about several things – Pat Tillman, the NFL, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. army and its role in Pat Tilman’s death, friendly fire during wars, and the history of our involvement in the Middle East. Each of these topics is covered in a wonderfully page-turning manner, with the reader not wanting to put the book down. At the same time, Krakauer provides a huge amount of information that may be new, surprising or downright horrific.

July 29, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Afghanistan, Middle East, Non-fiction, Reading Guide

THE LAST STATION by Jay Parini

Leo Tolstoy famously opened Anna Karenina with the observation that, “All happy families are all alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” He was 45 when he wrote that. Thirty-seven years later, at age 82, he would die at the remote Astapovo train station, not far from his home, after fleeing, in the middle of the night, his estranged wife of 48 years, abandoning his family, his wealth, and setting out to live the life of a wandering ascetic. Ironically, he fulfilled the observation that his family was, indeed, singularly unhappy.

April 25, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Russia, World Lit