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Books in the News - 3/31/13

Being EstherHere are the books reviewed in our local papers on this last day of March.

In the Pioneer Press, the focus was on two debut novels about Jewish women and the passage of time:

Being Esther: A Novel by Miriam Karmel - Constantly trying to fend off attempts by her daughter to move her into assisted living, Esther Lustig, an elderly Jewish woman, finds herself lost in a world which has disappeared along with many who had inhabited it

Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife by Rebecca Kanner - In the spirit of Anita Diamant, this ambitious and unforgettable novel about the story of Noah blends biblical history, mythology, and the inimitable strength of women. Cursed with a birthmark that some think demonic, the young woman's father gives her to the righteous Noah, who weds her and takes her to a land of outcasts.

The above two titles are also reviewed in the Star Tribune Books section this week, in addition to:

Airmail: The Letters of Robert Bly and Tomas Transtromer edited by Thomas R. Smith - The illuminating letters of the National Book Award winning poet Robert Bly and the Nobel Prize winning poet Tomas Transtromer.

If It's Not One Thing, It's Not Your Mother by Julia Sweeney - Sweeney, the delightful former cast member of "Saturday Night Live" and popular performer, takes readers into the depths of her family in this hilarious and unique book on parenting and motherhood. All That Is

Vacationland by Sarah Stonich - On a lake in northernmost Minnesota, you might find Naledi Lodge--only two cabins still standing, its pathways now trodden mostly by memories. "Vacationland" is a moving portrait of a place--timeless and of the moment, composed of conflicting dreams and shared experience--and of the woman bound to it by legacy and sometimes longing, but not necessarily by choice.

All That Is by James Salter - An extraordinary literary event, a major new novel by the PEN/Faulkner winner and acclaimed master: a sweeping, seductive, deeply moving story set in the years after World War II.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Happy requesting and reading!

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