how to breathe underwater

by Julie Orringer

Unfortunately, Iíve let too much time pass between reading this book and writing the synopsis/review. Iím not sure my synopsis would have been any good immediately after reading the book either since it was my office read Ė the book I kept at work and would read if I ended up eating lunch alone. Since that rarely happens, it took a long time to make it through all the stories in the book. I can say that I did enjoy the short stories in this book and plan to keep it on my shelves for a while. I do believe these stories are worth rereading.

The following is from the book jacket:

In story after story, Orringer captures moments when the dark contours of the adult world come sharply into focus: Here are young people abandoned to their own devices, thrust too soon into predicaments of insoluble difficulty, and left to fend for themselves against the wide variety of human trouble. Buoyed by the exquisite tenderness of remembered love, they learn to take up residence in this strange new territory, if not to transcend it, and to fashion from their grief new selves, new lives.
Posted by jfer at 12:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Progue Golum: Stories from the Jewish Ghetto

Translated by Sona Maresova

I had a hard time deciding if this book should be classified as "fiction" or "non-fiction". I classified it as "non-fiction" because Dewey includes a section for "Customs, etiquette, folklore".

I picked this book up in a bookstore on Old Town Square in Prague. Despite it's title, the story of the Golum is on one of about 15 folk stories related from the Czech Jewish tradition. It begins with "How the Jews came to Bohemia" and continues through many stories of morality and coping with the persecution that the Jews have faced throughout history.

I enjoyed reading this booklet (64 pages including the 1 page source page). As with all collections of short stories, it will be a great book to keep on my bookshelf for whenever I have a just a few minutes to spend lost in the pages of a book.

Posted by jfer at 2:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack