Thursday, July 12, 2007

Another Book Review

OK, you're going to have to put up with some book reviews!! After all I'm in two reading challenges and I am supposed to write reviews. Hey, maybe you will find a book you want to read!!!

For the Armchair Traveller Challenge, I started reading "The Third Translation" by Matt Bondurant. I had high hopes for this one. I read the first two chapters and completely lost interest with is fairly surprising considering it is about Egypt. So I scrubbed it and moved on to an "alternate" selection.
So book #1 of the six book challenge is, "84, Charing Cross Road" by Helen Hanff. It met the requirements due to the fact it takes place in NYC and London (two of my favorite spots). It is the true story written in letter format of a 20 year dialogue between her and a London book seller. There is quite a story in this thin volume. Starting off very formal, it was amazing how two people who have never met physically can become such close friends all due to a common bond. In the beginning, I was lamenting the fact that letters are no longer written any more. When was the last time you got a handwritten note from a friend?? But then I realized in the age of electronic mail and blog communication, many of us have similar friendships. Common bonds with people we have never met, and yet we call them friend. Sending them correspondence and gifts and get to know their families and lives. Both touching and funny, this book instantly has become one of my favorites. I will not be giving up my book anytime soon and will add it to my permanent collection. I think this is a must read for any book lover. I think the review from the San Francisco Examiner sums it up best "A unique, throat lumping, side - splitting treasure", because that is exactly what it is!

This book is perfectly digested in one sitting, perhaps with a nice pot of tea on a snowy or rainy day! Honestly I cannot wait to re-read it again!


Anonymous said...

Oh, I love, love, love Helene Hanff! That was the first book of hers I read (after seeing the film with Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins - excellent adaptation and one of my favorite films), and have since gone on to read all of her other books. My favorite is Underfoot in Show Business, her account of trying (and failing) to make it in the NYC theater world. I bought it used, and when I got home, I noticed an inscription inside to the original owner from Helene herself!

I hope you enjoy your next book as well!

Kate said...

Hi Lesley! Thanks for the comments! I have the film in my Netflix queue and picked up the sequel "The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street" at the library today! I will add the other one to my PBS wishlist!! Thanks for the recommendation!

JenW!~ said...

OH I never read that one. I will have to see if I can find it. I LOVE reading and tea!

raidergirl3 said...

Hey, this book looks fantastic, I'm adding it to my list.

Pope Joan? This was the first review I wrote, on livejournal, because I liked it so much. It might even be my first post ever on a blog. aah, memories.
I think that link will do.

soleil said...

that sounds wonderful and i absolutely love london! thanks for the review.