NEW eBooks About Fiction

Friday, May 9, 2008

Kyra eBook Edition, This One Will Surprise You...

Have you ever had the experience of reading a book that you aren't even sure you like, but somehow can't but it down?

Kyra by Carol Gillian was like that for me.  Part of my brain kept thinking, "why am I reading this, it is boring and painful".  But I still couldn't put it down.  I actually read the whole thing in one long lazy Saturday afternoon.

On the face of it, there isn't a reason that I should have even picked the book up, much less been unable to put it down.  I know almost nothing about architecture or urban planning and possibly less about opera.  I am not in the habit of analyzing cultures, music or art.  Mainly, I am not big on suffering for love.  Yet with all of those strikes against it, Kyra was a strangely compelling book.

Gilmore is a graceful and fluent writer.  She has a tremendous grasp of her subject matter -- architecture, opera and therapy.  Somehow (against all odds), she seamlessly weaves these complex themes into a kind of love story.  Interestingly enough, a love story with a "happily ever after" end.

The characters, Kyra and Andreas, are complex and have extremely complicated lives.  They are both sophisticated, brilliant and creative.  Their careers serve as the ballast for the emotional life.  As they work together and fall in love, everything they believe begins to morph into something different. 

This story of how they fall in love is strangely academic and cerebral.  It shouldn't work, but somehow it does.

Kyra is more than a love story but less than a romance.  Difficult to explain.  This is a book you need to experience.

I suspect that urban planners and opera fans would find this book a treasure trove of ideas and sensations.  Psychologist and people familiar with psychotherapy would find it challenging.  And yet it also works for the casual reader.  Certainly, it is not everyone's cup of tea.

This is a great book club selection.  The story and themes are great discussion material.  And yet, you don't need to belong to a book club to read and enjoy this book.

Use Coupon Code LIBMR8 at checkout to receive a Discount on this eBook Title.

Here is the publishers synopsis:

An unforgettable novel about love–and the first work of fiction by the author of the groundbreaking nonfiction bestseller In a Different Voice

Kyra is an architect, involved in a project to design a new city. Andreas, a theater director, is staging an innovative production of the opera Tosca. Both have come through political upheaval and personal loss. Neither wants to fall in love. Yet when she asks him, “What is the opposite of losing?” and he says, “Finding,” it galvanizes a powerful attraction, and they risk opening themselves to love once again.

When their love affair leads to a shocking betrayal, Kyra’s fierce determination to see under the surface, to know what was true and real, brings her to Greta, a remarkable therapist. As the therapy itself repeats the themes of love and loss, Kyra challenges its structure, and the struggle that ensues between the two women opens the way to a larger understanding.

Passionate and revolutionary, Kyra is an exquisitely written love story, imbued with gentle humor. This is an extraordinary work of fiction by one of the most brilliant writers of our time. Tags: ebook,e-book,book review,Kyra,architecture,opera,psychotherapy

Monday, May 5, 2008

Certain Girls (eBook Edition)

I loved Good in Bed. It is raw, funny, honest and wise. As a woman who has struggled with her body image, I certainly relate to Cannie Shaprio.  Most women can. 

Six months ago I read the advance review for the sequel, Certain Girls.  I could hardly wait to get my hands on it.  Usually that kind of anticipation is a set up for disappointment.  Happily, Certain Girls not only did not disappoint.  It actually surpassed my expectations.

  In Certain Girls Jennifer Weiner beautifully captures the complexity, pain and joy of motherhood, daughterhood, sisterhood and marriage. 

At the heart of this story is the relationship between a teenag

e daughter and her mother.  This is arguably, the most difficult and intricate relationship on the planet.  It is exceedingly problematic even in the most "normal" family.  Cannie and Joy, however, most definitively do not have anything as bland as a normal family. 

Joy is a teenager who alternatively loves and hates her Mom.  Cannie is a Mom struggling to let her baby grow up.  The story line alternates between their points of view as they war over Cannie's (fictionalized) past, their daily interactions and Joy's upcoming Bat Mitzvah. 

Joy's Bat Mitzvah is the overarching and powerful symbol of Joy's entry into adulthood. As she makes the transition she is overcome with the need to make sense of her convoluted family tree.  She wants to know all about her Mom's and Dad's secrets, her biological Dad's new family and her very absent Grandfather.

Cannie is still working out the complicated relationships she has with her over the top lesbian Mom and ditzy but lovable little sister, Elle. And to complicate thing further, just as she is letting go of one child, her husband is lobbying for a baby. 

Weiner's ear for dialogue, her wit and compassion are all on display as she examines these complicated relationships and events.

Too often Weiner is categorized as just  a "chick-lit" writer.  The pink cover certainly reinforces that impression.   Don't be fooled.  This is not a fluffy, girly book. This is a nitty gritty account of coming to terms with the messy, complex web of family. 

The Publishers says:

Readers fell in love with Cannie Shapiro, the smart, sharp-tongued, bighearted heroine of Good in Bed who found her happy ending after her mother came out of the closet, her father fell out of her life, and her ex-boyfriend started chronicling their ex-sex life in the pages of a national magazine.

Now Cannie's back. After her debut novel -- a fictionalized (and highly sexualized) version of her life -- became an overnight bestseller, she dropped out of the public eye and turned to writing science fiction under a pseudonym. She's happily married to the tall, charming diet doctor Peter Krushelevansky and has settled into a life that she finds wonderfully predictable -- knitting in the front row of her daughter Joy's drama rehearsals, volunteering at the library, and taking over-forty yoga classes with her best friend Samantha.

As preparations for Joy's bat mitzvah begin, everything seems right in Cannie's world. Then Joy discovers the novel Cannie wrote years before and suddenly finds herself faced with what she thinks is the truth about her own conception -- the story her mother hid from her all her life. When Peter surprises his wife by saying he wants to have a baby, the family is forced to reconsider its history, its future, and what it means to be truly happy.

Radiantly funny and disarmingly tender, with Weiner's whip-smart dialogue and sharp observations of modern life, Certain Girls is an unforgettable story about love, loss, and the enduring bonds of family.

Highly recommended.