Tuesday, July 30, 2013

best books and movie (I hope) you've never heard of

Today Modern Mrs. Darcy is doing a "best book you've never heard of" linkup, so I thought I'd join in.  In fact, I've decided to include two books and a movie ... just because.  So there.

Yet I wonder:  does everyone else who is posting today think, "Uh-oh, what if ten people say 'Pshaw, I read that book/saw that movie long ago!'?" Or am I the only one who's thinking that?  (And do people really say "Pshaw"?)  Anyhoo, here goes.


Two best novels you've never heard of:


Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding



When a young deaf-mute man, Augustin, is found collapsed on the steps of a Romanian hospital, a nurse recognizes him as her childhood friend, the son of a servant on her family's estate.  This haunting novel explores their youthful relationship, their separation during WWII, and their journey to new lives after they meet again.  The book has a very simple and subtle style, and the descriptions of how Augustin communicates through painting are beautiful.  It ends abruptly -- I turned the page thinking, "Is it really over?" -- but ultimately the conclusion is satisfying and hopeful.  This is not a page-turner, but if you like beautiful writing and a moving story, you'll like this.

(Thanks to my friend Mieke for thinking I'd like this book; I did!)

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The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty



Young Evelyn sees the world as black-and-white: she accepts her religious grandmother’s view of life and scorns the foibles of her struggling single mom. But as she matures and gains more life experience (first love, friendship, a handicapped brother), she realizes that the world is much more complicated than she thought – and that her mother may in fact know a bit more about right and wrong than Evelyn gave her credit for.  This was Moriarty's first novel; I discovered it on our local library's reading list and loved it so much that I've devoured everything she's written since.

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Best movie you've never heard of:

Secondhand Lions
 

A young boy is forced by his irresponsible mother to spend the summer at a farm owned by his two eccentric great-uncles (played by Michael Caine and Robert Duvall).  The uncles regale him with stories about their exploits in the war and the love affair one of them had with an African princess.  Are the stories true -- or does that even matter?  And should you really buy a lion sight unseen, anyway? This is a funny, touching movie about family, love, and truth -- with a delightful and surprising ending.

(Thanks, Brenda G., for the recommendation:  loved this movie!)



10 comments:

  1. We loved Secondhand Lions. I was skeptical at casting Duval opposite Caine, but they were excellent together. Don't know why I was worried!

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    1. I know -- you always think these big actors will try to one-up each other, but sometimes it just works perfectly! (like Shirley MacLaine and Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey too)

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  2. I was worried that I'd pick something people had heard of too! Had to pore through my collection to find a standout that I thought probably flew under the radar. The Center of Everything sounds up my alley - thanks for the suggestion!

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    1. I think you'd like it, Bethany, because it's really suitable for all ages -- I'm nearly 50 and loved it, and I can see younger readers enjoying it very much as well.

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  3. Secondhand Lions sounds great. I've just added it to our list. :)

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    1. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I loved Secondhand Lions! And I'm intrigued by the Painter of Silence--I may have to check it out after I finish my current pile :).

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    1. I know the feeling -- with these linkups, the pile just gets larger doesn't it? Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I just added The Center of Everything to my list. I'm thinking I should add Painter of Silence, too--I suspect it's one of those books where describing it just makes you want to read it less. That's such a strange phenomenon but I believe in it. :)

    LOVE that you included a movie! I saw that one ages ago and remember really enjoying it.

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    1. Yes, I know what you mean about describing books. A friend had taken that one out of the library and suggested I read it before she returned it, so it was totally random; I likely wouldn't have chosen it off the shelf on my own.

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