Kathy’s Best of 2013

Life After Life by Kate AtkinsonTitle:  Life After Life

Author:  Kate Atkinson

Call #:  ATKINSON

Ursula Todd is born in England during the winter of 1910.  She dies before she can take her first breath but in the very next scene we find Ursula being born again, taking her first breath and starting a life that is quite unusual.  As a matter of fact, we will witness Ursula dies multiple times only to come back each time.  The premise may sound strange and confusing and in the hands of a lesser writer there is a very good chance that could have happened.  But Kate Atkinson has the ability to keep it all straight, make it engaging and add her signature British humor.  Amazing!

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann PatchettTitle:  This is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Author:  Ann Patchett

Call #:  BIOGRAPHY PATCHETT

This is a collection of essays which is how Patchett supported herself while she pursued her passion – fiction writing.  She wrote for Seventeen Magazine for years and also wrote for Bridal Magazine.  Non-fiction came more easily for her.  I like how the book is organized by subject as opposed to time.  There is a great essay about being invited to a college to speak about her book Truth and Beauty but there is a huge outcry against her and her book prior to her visit.  The next essay is the transcript of the speech she ultimately gave at the college.  You want to be her friend and have her tell you these stories over dinner. If you are a writer or a lover of books and bookstores, you will love it but really there is something here for everyone.

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria SempleTitle:  Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Author:  Maria Semple

Call #:  SEMPLE

A darling of 2012, I finally got around to reading this in 2013 and it was just about perfect.  Maria Semple was a writer for the television show Arrested Development and a similar satiric humor, at times ridiculous and at times dark, pervades the story.  Bernadette is a famous architect renowned for one building, who has basically gone into hiding.  She lives with her husband and daughter in an upper class Seattle neighborhood until she disappears.  Her daughter tells the story and compiles emails, letters and official documents (all of which make up the majority of the book) in attempt to find her.  Hilarious, engrossing and touching – what more could you ask for?

Recommended by:  Kathy

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