Adriana Trigiani has authored the Big Stone Gap series, a delightful character-rich, witty story of a spinster living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Walking through the young adult section, I found Triginani had authored two books for teens. The Viola Chesterton books begin as quick peeks into boarding school life in South Bend, Indiana for a 9th grader whose parents must relinquish that year as they travel to Afghanistan to film a documentary. Again, these books are character driven with teen foibles, fears and funny situations. Viola must figure out how to extend herself to a new environment with peers very different from herself, and find where her talents as a filmmaker can be used. Definitely teen material, but good for adults to see into a stage of life that may have been long- forgotten.
Will Clark–once an active sportsman and businessman– has been injured in an accident and is a quadriplegic–in a wheelchair and bitterly unhappy about his circumstances. Into his life comes Louisa Clark–a quiet young working class woman whose previous job was working as a waitress until the closing of the cafe. Due to the financial circumstances of her parents, Louisa is forced to look for any employment she can find, and she takes a position as Will’s caretaker. His mother hopes that Louisa can devise a way to life Will’s spirits and involve him in life again. Unsure about her role, Louisa realizes that “Shoved up so hard against someone else’s life forces you to rethink your idea of who you are.” Louisa becomes more assertive and expands her interests, thanks to Will’s influence. Their unique relationship grows and challenges Louisa’s perceptions of herself and what she can accomplish with her life. In Me before You, Moyes has created a surprising beautiful love story, both funny and heartbreaking–a thought-provoking story about the meaning and value of life. This engaging, touching and powerful novel will stay with you long after finishing the last page (and probably after finishing a box of kleenex as well!!)
I haven’t been in much of a mood to read lately (strange, I know). So I’ve been picking up some of the very cool photography books we’ve gotten at the library lately. In December I looked through Dancers Among Us (and reviewed it). I also looked through and enjoyed Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel. Recently I picked up Serengeti Spy by Anuup Shah, a beautiful book filled with pictures taken by a hidden camera in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara Natural Reserve in Kenya.
Shah captured the images in Serengeti Spy by hiding a camera in a small housing that was then covered in mud, grass, and other materials. There was a video link with the camera that allowed Shah to see the remote image his camera was going to capture. The resulting images are interesting and beautiful. These are close-up images captured without the interference of having a human being right there to take them. The camera clicking did attract the attention of some of the animals, but many ignored the camera or ran right by it.
This is not a text heavy book, but each image has a caption about the animals pictured and how they survive on the Serengeti. There are images of elephants, baboons, cheetahs, gazelle, hyenas, and lions, to name a few. There are images of animals eating, playing, checking out the camera, fighting, stampeding, and more. It’s an up close view most of us will never get of some gorgeous wildlife and well worth a look through.