THE GODS OF HEAVENLY PUNISHMENT
by Jennifer Cody Epstein
Norton, March 2013
Hardcover, 378 pages
Source: TLC Book Tours
The Gods of Heavenly Punishment is a sweeping epic spanning from 1935 to 1962 and centering on the war between the US and Japan. In a format that I have really grown to like, it tells the stories of multiple families and individuals, how the war affects them, and how they are connected.
In the first chapter, we meet Cam, a young man falling in love with a girl named Lacy. When next we see Cam, he is a pilot in the Doolittle Raid, the first US air raid to strike Japan during WWII. Continue reading →
One of my favorite things about books is their ability to transport me to places that I have never been in real life. Through reading, I’ve trekked across Tibet, spent a year in Paris, wandered the streets of Tokyo, hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, and made a mad dash across the US with my buddy Jack Kerouac. Of course, reading about interesting places doesn’t come close to the amazingness of actual travel, and I am a long-time sufferer of wanderlust. In the last few years, I have been fortunate enough to spend four months in London, travel to five European countries, and drive from New York to California and back. These are some of the greatest experiences of my life, and I am always eager for my next adventure… which is starting tomorrow! Continue reading →
“People hide the sad things in the world from their sight. Bury their grief and, not facing the pain of their loss, devalue everything around them. They act like there’s just one piece missing when what is missing was a part of everything.”
Little, Brown, Aug. 2012
Hardcover, 326 pages
Where’d You Go, Bernadette has been a major buzz book since it’s publication nearly a year ago, and I finally got around to requesting it from the library! I really had no idea what to expect from this book when I got it: something about a missing mother, going to Antarctica, and an epistolary format? What sealed the deal for me to read this book was finding out that Maria Semple used to be a writer for Arrested Development, one of my favorite TV shows. I knew that if this book was even half as funny as the show, I would love it. It was, and I did! Continue reading →
Bloomsbury, Aug. 2011
Paperback, 258 pages
In Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, the radio warns of an impending hurricane, but the Batiste children aren’t worried. Only their hard-drinking, widowed father is concerned that this hurricane will be worse than all of the others his family has experienced.
As Daddy prepares for the hurricane, Esch, our fifteen-year-old narrator, struggles with her discovery that she is pregnant; Skeeter takes care of his prized pit bull, China, and her newborn puppies; Randall practices for an important basketball game; and Junior, the youngest, is just gets into everyone else’s business. Continue reading →
“She looked and then saw two stars fall out of the sky, trailing a brief silver thread behind them. Then there were more stars moving, dropping like spiders. They faded slowly into the black sky like ink being absorbed into paper. It was as if the whole sky was dropping stitches, unravelling itself ready to fall and drape over them like a blanket. And she lay there, looking up, and as each star fell closer towards them she thought: that was the best one so far, no maybe that one,
Pretty books at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair!
It’s monthly reading re-cap time! April was a pretty good month for me; I read a bunch of really great books and did some other awesome things.
In early April, I attended the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, a great annual event that brings together booksellers, authors, poets, artists, zinesters, and book enthusiasts from around the region. Instead of blathering on about it here, though, I’ll direct you to my post about it.
I also had my birthday in April! Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, and to Rebecca for the lovely card! Continue reading →
I am pleased to announce that Diamond “Dee” of Dee’s Reads has won my giveaway, which was held to celebrate reaching 200 blog followers! From the list of books I have written about here on Books Speak Volumes, Dee has chosen to receive a copy of On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I have emailed her for her mailing address and will order her a copy from The Book Depository as soon as possible!
Thank you to everyone who participated, wished me congratulations, and said kind words about my blog. Your support means so much to me!
Mariner, Aug. 2012
Paperback, 223 pages
I think we’ve established that I am a sucker for anything that blurs the line between myth and reality. Karen Russell is my goddess, The Tiger’s Wife made me swoon, and No One Is Here Except All of Us totally charmed me. When I heard about Diving Belles, the title story of which is about an old woman who goes under the sea in a diving bell to try to retrieve her husband, who was taken by the mermaids many years before, I knew it would be right up my alley.
“Stuff your eyes with wonder,” he said, “live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,” he said, “shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.”