Thursday, September 13, 2012

BBAW: P**p This Book

Okay, today's Book Blogger Appreciation Week topic is one that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy ('cause it is about books, yo) while also making me cringe.

One little word is showing up in the prompts in most of the 330+ book blogs I read this morning and it's giving me the creeps.

(The word pimp - as in "pimp this book" - gives me the heebie-jeebies. For the record, the word "gush" has the same effect on me. Which is probably understandable.)

Excuse me while I take a moment.

However, I am all about giving some books that may have been overlooked some well-deserved recognition and loooooove. I just don't want to feel like I need a shower after doing so.

That being said, I want to highlight two books which I looooooved but which I haven't written full-fledged reviews yet. I'm hoping to do so, but until then, suffice it to say that you really need to read these.

The Storm at the Door, by Stefan Merrill Block

I'm cutting and pasting from the publisher's description here, because there's just too much to summarize about this one and I didn't do a proper review. 

The past is not past for Katharine Merrill. Even after two decades of volatile marriage, Katharine still believes she can have the life that she felt promised to her by those first exhilarating days with her husband, Frederick. For two months, just before Frederick left to fight in World War II, Katharine received his total attentiveness, his limitless charms, his astonishing range of intellect and wit. 

Over the years, however, as Frederick’s behavior and moods have darkened, Katharine has covered for him, trying to rein in his great manic passions and bridge his deep wells of sadness: an unending project of keeping up appearances and hoping for the best. But the project is failing. Increasingly, Frederick’s erratic behavior, amplified by alcohol, distresses Katharine and their four daughters and gives his friends and family cause to worry for his sanity. When, in the summer of 1962, a cocktail party ends with her husband in handcuffs, Katharine makes a fateful decision: She commits Frederick to Mayflower Home, America’s most revered mental asylum.

Inspired by elements of the lives of the author’s grandparents, this haunting love story shifts through time and reaches across generations. Along the way, Stefan Merrill Block stunningly illuminates an age-old truth: even if one’s daily life appears ordinary, one can still wage a silent, secret, extraordinary war.

I am trying to get The Husband to read this, but so far, no avail. He's typical of most dads of special needs kids, I think: he loves his kid deeply but he leaves the book-reading and the researching and the memoirs to me. Father's Day is raw, honest, powerful and emotional from a dad's point of view. I read it in the spring and I am still searching for the words to do this one justice. It's not one to read upon the moment of diagnosis, however. It's one for later, when you've been in the trenches a little bit.

Both of these books, when I think back on my reading year of 2012 thus far, are ones that immediately come to mind. There are others, of course, the blockbusters that have been all over the New York Times bestseller lists and the blogs, but these have lingered.

These are special.

copyright 2012, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


fredamans said...

Pimp is just a word. Don't take it so hard, it won't affect you in any way with someone else, like myself, using it. Promise.

K A B L O O E Y said...

I'm with you re: pimp and gush. But I use both more readily than "app." I'm going to go get Bissinger's book in about 30 seconds. Kindle, yo. Yo.

Cass said...

I totally have been feeling the same way about the "pimping" a book thing, so I'm glad you said something.

The Storm at the Door sounds fascinating, I'm putting it on my to read list!