LitPicks Book Reviews—April 2007

 
Labels: A Lighter Touch

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mark Haddon, 2003
240 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
April 2007

What's the world like in the mind of an autistic child? That's the question Mark Haddon explores in this funny, immensely readable book about an autistic English boy.

On page 1 Christopher Boone (15) finds his neighbor’s dog stabbed with a garden fork Over the next 119 pages, he attempts to solve the mystery of its murder.  On page 120, he finds the answer; 101 pages later, the book ends. There are 45 drawings, 17 charts and graphs, 12 equations, 16 lists, and 1 photo. And that’s not counting the 3-3/4 page appendix. It took me 2:57:45 hours to finish the book.

 
Labels: A Lighter Touch

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Mountains Beyond Mountains
Tracy Kidder, 2003
336 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
April 2007

If you've never read anything by Tracy Kidder, start with this book.

Kidder is one of the finest non-fiction authors today. Whether he's writing about designing computers or building a house, he writes with the intricacy of a specialist and the intimacy of a novelist.

 
Labels: Great Works

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Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass
Isak Dinesen, 1937 and 1960
480 pp. (incl. Shadows)

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
April 2007

“I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.”

With that beautifully modulated opening, Dinesen begins her epic memoir: 17 years (1914–31) as a coffee grower in Kenya, then a British protectorate. This is a powerful love story—but not the one between Redford and Streep as told in the 1985 movie.

 

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