Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Week, New Crayons

Another week has gone by and leaves us with a diverse array of books. This might be one of our most diverse New Crayons, not just in terms of culture/ehncity, but in terms of subject matter. Middle grade, adult, funny, serious.

On another note, has anyone else's Blogger been acting up? It took me forever to compile this post because it refused to cooperate. Everything (words and pictures) were squeezed together and I had to keep editing the HTML. Ugh. Maybe it's just my computer. Anyway, back to new crayons


Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream
by Jenny Han

Clara Lee likes her best friends, her grandpa, kimchi, candy necklaces (her signature look!), and the idea of winning the Little Miss Apple Pie contest. Clara Lee doesn't like her mom's fish soup, bad dreams (but Grandpa says they mean good luck!), speaking in public, or when her little sister is being annoying. One day, after a bad dream, Clara Lee is thrilled to have a whole day of luck (Like!). But then, bad luck starts to follow (Dislike!). When will Clara Lee's luck change again? Will it change in time for the Little Miss Apple Pie contest?


An Atlas of Impossible Longing
by Anuradha Roy

The story is of three generations of an Indian family, brilliantly told, in which a sensitive and intelligent foundling boy orphan who is casteless and without religion and Bakul, the motherless granddaughter of the house, grow up together. The boy, Mukunda, spends his time as a servant in the house or reading the books of Mrs Barnum, an Anglo-Englishwoman whose life was saved long ago by Bakul's grandmother, by now demented by loneliness. Mrs Barnum gives Mukunda the run of her house, but as he and Bakul grow, they become aware that their intense closeness is becoming something else, and Bakul's father is warned to separate them. He banishes Mukunda to a school in Calcutta, where in the years after Partition he prospers, and whence in time he will return to rediscover all that he has lost.The novel begins in 1907 with the founding of a factory in Songarh, a small provincial town where narrow attitudes prevail. Amulya and Kananbala have two sons and as their family grows, and the house and their garden too, a microcosm of a society develops. It is scholarly, eccentric, hide-bound, fraught with drama, destined to self-destruct. The many strands of this intensely-fashioned narrative converge when Mukunda, by now a successful businessman, returns to Songarh years after he has been exiled from the only home he knew, to resolve the family's destiny.


Pym by Mat Johnson

comic journey into the ultimate land of whiteness by an unlikely band of African American adventurers Recently canned professor of American literature Chris Jaynes is obsessed with The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, Edgar Allan Poe’s strange and only novel. When he discovers the manuscript of a crude slave narrative that seems to confirm the reality of Poe’s fiction, he resolves to seek out Tsalal, the remote island of pure and utter blackness that Poe describes with horror. Jaynes imagines it to be the last untouched bastion of the African Diaspora and the key to his personal salvation. He convenes an all-black crew of six to follow Pym’s trail to the South Pole in search of adventure, natural resources to exploit, and, for Jaynes at least, the mythical world of the novel. With little but the firsthand account from which Poe derived his seafaring tale, a bag of bones, and a stash of Little Debbie snack cakes, Jaynes embarks on an epic journey under the permafrost of Antarctica, beneath the surface of American history, and behind one of literature’s great mysteries. He finds that here, there be monsters.


If Sons Then Heirs
by Lorene Cary

A mother who abandoned her son as a child is faced with the prospect of meeting him again as an adult. A young woman hopes her boyfriend will finally commit to her and her son so they can start truly building a life together. A young man goes in search of his parentage and the answers that have plagued him all his life. An African-American family is visited by sorrow and grace. A past that haunts them all. These are the elements of Lorene Cary’s new novel, If Sons, Then Heirs, an unsparing and triumphant look at ordinary people whose intertwined lives are part of the country’s racial destiny.


Vasilly said...

I love the cover of Clara Lee! I'm adding it to my tbr list!

Doret said...

Ari, blogger is acting up for me as well. Now I have to do everything in HTML if not there are no breaks. Very frustrating.

I really want to read Johnson's Pym but before I do I want to the novel by Poe.

MissA said...

@Vasilly-It's absolutely adorable :)

@Doret-Yes there are no breaks, it's so irritating! Pym sounds like a fun read