Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (17)

I loved this book! The Professor is an elderly man who experienced an accident several years before so his recent memory is limited to 80 minutes. A housekeeper is hired to look after him so every day a young single woman with a little boy comes to his house to do the cooking and cleaning. A sort of family relationship develops among the characters as they get to know each other and learn from each other. The housekeeper and the little boy especially learn a lot of math from the professor. This novel is set in Japan and was translated from the Japanese. It is really charming and a worthwhile read.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel by Jamie Ford (16)

Henry is a Chinese American boy living in Seattle during World War II. He is caught between cultures with his ultra traditional father and his American classmates, not fitting into either side. Keiko, a Japanese American girl, who, like him is between two worlds becomes his friend at school where both are scholarship students at a white school. It is not long before Keiko and her family become interned in the Japanese camp far away from Henry, even though they are thoroughly American. The book flashes forward 40 years when Henry is sadly widowed from his Chinese wife and still has memories of Keiko. I enjoyed this book very much.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Llama Llama

The Llama Llama books, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Mad at Mama, and Llama Llama Misses Mama, were written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney. These wonderful books I enjoy reading to all visiting children and grandchildren. Here I am with my little friend Miki, age 1, who enjoyed Llama Llama Red Pajama, holding Mama Llama which I made together with Baby Llama and his toy llama. The books have a strong rhyme scheme so the reading is very enjoyable even the many times I have read them myself.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Still Alice by Lisa Genova (15)

This book is compelling but disturbing reading. I could barely put it down but I was also upset and horrified while reading it because it concerns one of the most terrible diseases faced by people today, Alzheimer's. The main character of the book is Alice, a Harvard professor, at the peak of her career, who increasingly begins experiencing forgetfulness. After appointments with various doctors, Alice is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. The book shows how Alice's disease progresses, how her family and professional life are affected. I heartily recommend this book but caution that it is not for the faint of heart.