104 in 52 (or what I have been reading lately).
22. Left Neglected – Lisa Genova. I was reminded of Lisa Genova recently when I read that her very successful novel Still Alice was going to be made into a movie. Still Alice is the story of a intelligent and successful professor who acquires early onset Alzheimers. The story is a powerful and moving account of Alice’s experience and the way she deals with her disability as it progresses and is an absorbing read for anyone but especially for someone with a friend or family member coping with this disease. Lisa Genova holds a PhD in neuroscience and she uses her knowledge and experience in this field again in Left Neglected. Sarah is a busy and ambitious business woman with two children and a life that is constantly in motion. Genova cleverly builds towards the moment at the beginning of this novel when Sarah is involved in an accident and receives a traumatic brain injury. Through her rehabilitation and recovery we see Sarah’s priorities change as she struggles to adapt to her less able body and mind. This is a well-written and interesting story about an extraodinary condition I was totally unaware of, but does not have the emotional impact of Still Alice – at least not for me.
23. On the Road with kids – John Ahern. I really enjoyed this memoir of a road trip through Europe by a young Aussie family. There are plenty of dramas along the way which kept the story lively and engaging and the author’s sense of humour made many of the culture clashes hilarious. This is a great stand alone story but if you are thinking of travelling in Europe for an extended period, especially with kids, then this is the book for you. There is even a handy budget and planning guide in the back. Gave me itchy feet.
24. Mullumbimby – Melissa Lucashenko. I have posted some discussion questions on the Discussion Questions page about this novel and after reading it a second time can highly recommend it. The story is set in Mullumbimby, Northern NSW and is about a young Bunjalung women, Jo, who returns to her ancestoral land with her teenage daughter after her divorce. She (hesitantly) becomes involved with a Bunjalung man and his fight to reclaim Native Title land through the court system. Many issues involving indigenous Australians and their removal from their lands and culture are explored and it is interesting to learn Jo’s perspective on these through her story. There is humour and drama a plenty in Melissa Lucashenko’s writing.
25. The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe – Romain Peurtolas. The plot is in the title of this one and it is the hilarious romp that it promises to be. A fake Fakir from India decided the best way to purchase a Bed of Nails he has seen in the Ikea Catalogue is to fly to Paris and buy one. So begins a crazy tour around Europe and Northern Africa as the author, Puertolas, explores the problems and motivations of refugees as they attempt to enter the promised land – Europe and especially Great Britain. You can read this in an hour or two – good for a plane journey.