Louanne's Orange Books
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1. Song of Achilles 2012 Winner
2. Half-Blood Blues 2012 Shortlist
3. State of Wonder 2012 Shortlist
4. The Time Traveler's Wife 2004 Longlist
5. The Gathering 2008 Longlist
6. The Girls 2007 Longlist
7. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian 2005 Shortlist
8. The Tiger's Wife 2011 Winner
The "Oranges" that I loved best from last year's list were: Song of Achilles, The Girls, and State of Wonder. I look forward to reading more wonderful Women's Fiction in 2013.
I'm not sure what my next Orange title will be. The ones I'm most interested in but have not yet read are: Wolf Hall, The Memory of Love, Small Island or Gillespie and I.
My thoughts and comments on this one at the time:
"Last night I completed The Memory of Love, an absolutely outstanding book about the days following the Sierra Leone civil war. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
What a beautiful book about a horrendous subject or rather subjects. So many really good story lines in The Memory of Love and all of them proved to be very telling.
There are so many lovely reviews on this book that I am not even going to attempt to review the book but I did love it. I cared about all of the characters, I laughed, I cried, I mourned, so many emotions are drawn out of the reader with this book.
A couple of quotes:
re: the study of PTSD on patients and civilians; "You call a disorder, my friend. We call it life."
"So now his turn has arrived and he has never felt more conflicted. For here in this building where he barely has a moment to himself, he has never been so sure of who he is. He can walk he corridors, courtyards and wards blindfolded. Out on the streets he is recognised by his patients and he in turn recognises them. The change had occurred outside of his awareness. In this place of terrifying dreams and long nights, he knows who he is."
"Sometimes I think that this country is like a garden. Only it is a garden where somebody has pulled out all the flowers and trees and the birds and insects have all left, everything of beauty. Instead the weeds and poisonous plants have taken over"
The Memory of Love
I too, wonder why it did not win the Orange Prize. This is a spectacular read! I read a library copy but must buy my own. (5+ stars)
Orange Prize 2012 Longlist
Book description (from author website):
“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per¬formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.”
It's hard to describe my feelings about this novel. I loved many aspects of the book, and it was very well written. On several occasions I was glued to the pages and could not put the book down. It was quite mesmerizing! I just didn’t feel a strong connection to the main characters (Marco and Celia) though. There were other secondary characters who I found just as interesting and intriguing -- such as Friedrick Thiessen the clockmaker/writer, Chandresh the proprietor of the circus, and the twins Poppet and Widget. I started out listening to the audio book which was narrated by Jim Dale who apparently does the audio for all of the Harry Potter books. He was magnificent!!!
A fave quote. Alexander in a discussion with Widget about the role and importance of writers and storytellers:
“Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast... someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that.”
“There are many kinds of magic, after all.”
I would definitely recommend this book.
YES! Half-Blood Blues and State of Wonder were really good! Actually, State of Wonder was in my top 10 for all of last year. Ann Patchett is becoming one of my favorite authors.