Getting back into the swing of things each week is hard. So is finding the quiet time to write a review over the weekend. In order to ease out of the weekend, I’ve decided to begin my blogging week with a mini review.
There are some really interesting and well written books that Iv’e read and have neglected reviewing over the spring and summer. Traditionally, I don’t have a lot of structure around what I post and when. While a more whatever goes approach has worked well for me in the past, I like the idea of having a day or two each week set aside for something a little more specific. I like Imprint Friday on Beth Fish Reads, Frightful Friday on Jenn’s Bookshelves, Fashion Friday on Books are the New Black, and Sound Bytes on Devourer of Books. I look forward to those posts each week. I am also hoping that creating one or two of my own will freshen up my approach to blogging. For this weekly feature specifically, it gives me a platform to highlight those books I enjoyed, but my deepest desire is that preparing something shorter for Monday will kick my creative juices into gear for bigger and better things throughout the rest of the week. We’ll give this new feature a trial run and see how it feels.
The inaugural Monday Mini is:
Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ~ February 5, 2013 ~ 208 pages
I loved 84, Charing Cross Road. There is something about telling a story, be it fiction or non-fiction, through letters that appeals to me. Seemingly you get the story from both sides when the letters are returned, but there is a great deal that the reader has to think about as well. How trustworthy are the letter writers? What is happening outside of what’s being shared in the letters? I loved this about 84, Charing Cross Road and have casually been looking for other good epistolary books. That is the reason why, when I glanced through a Shelf Awareness newsletter dedicated to Carlene Bauer’s novel, that I ordered Frances and Bernard immediately. So swiftly did I make my purchase that I didn’t bother to read the entire newsletter. It wasn’t until after I’d finished the book that I discovered that the novel was inspired by Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell. Not knowing that at the beginning took nothing away from my reading experience. Discovering it afterward enhanced its lingering effects. The book arrived on a Friday. I happened to be in between books, so I slipped off the beautiful dust jacket and started reading it right away. It was delightful witnessing the blossoming of Frances and Bernard’s relationship. I especially enjoyed the spiritual discussions they had. As their relationship matured and took on a new dimension, their faults and short comings became more apparent. I loved them more despite it all. I finished Frances and Bernard with a sigh. It is the perfect way to spend a weekend, especially if you love a good letter. Like Helen Hanff, Carlene Bauer made me want to write some letters.