Monday, July 21, 2008

One More Year: Stories by Sana Krasikov


One More Year by Sana Krasikov was an interesting glimpse into the lives of immigrants from the former Soviet Union to the United States. The eight stories presented cover a vast array of age groups, educational backgrounds, and economic status.

What I liked most about this book is that each short story was uniquely different. My favorite story was the last one, and unlike the rest of the stories, the final one was the longest at forty two pages, and took place in Moscow. Each short story presented a character at a life changing point in their life. Loneliness, love, aspirations, and family are all very strong themes woven throughout the stories. Every character put forth was so humanly imperfect and realistic.

A Russian glossary would be a helpful inclusion in this book, as well as a map to help the reader more clearly understand the context of these stories. Overall, a very well written and enjoyable book that I would recommend.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Glimmer Palace by Beatrice Colin


Release Date: July 24, 2008

The Glimmer Palace by Beatrice Colin is one of the most engaging books I’ve read in a long time. From the first twenty pages I knew this was going to be a book I was going to want to read slowly, soaking in all of the details.

Lilly Nelly Aphrodite was born in the final moments of the nineteenth century in Germany. The book follows her life from a Catholic orphanage in Berlin and brings to life in fine detail her life over the course of the next thirty four years.

Poor Lilly constantly struggles with love, employment, poverty, and friendships while Germany struggles with it’s own problems. Lilly’s sweet innocence is eclipsed by the harsh world she lives in. Not having any family to help her out of difficult situations, she always finds a way to solve her problems, and maintains a long term, but sporadic friendship with another orphaned girl throughout the book.

I felt the first three hundred pages of this book were very well written, but the last quarter of the book becomes almost of summary of success mirrored by tragedy, written more as an accounting of events rather than a story. Regardless, the entire book is very well written.
Overall, this should be a very enjoyable book for readers who enjoy historical fiction, especially early twentieth century Germany, or for fans of the cinema, as much of this book revolves around the cinema.