Another day, another book review, except this time, there are 3 of them – 3 books that I read recently and enjoyed in very different ways.
Commonwealth is a book I wanted to read when it was first released and I heard some pretty negative reviews even while it was being hyped it seemed by everyone else. People either loved the book or hated it, perhaps comparing it to the author’s most popular novel, Bel Canto, and being disappointed. That might be unfair, like comparing a young child to his more accomplished, older sibling. I finally got around to reading Commonwealth myself and thought some of the literary devices she used were pretty brilliant. It is the story of an encounter that splits up two couples, the dynamics of the two blended families it produces, and the way the individuals all relate to each other. From flipping back and forth in time, the author plays with the fluidity of its effects and the way we often remember our younger selves even when we have changed, and how other people react to the changes in us. There is a book within this book also, a novel that someone else writes that exposes family secrets, and challenges each person’s memory, creating a alternate history of an event that Patchett herself doesn’t share with us.
Scratch is an essay compilation, as various authors share their experiences with writing for fun and transitioning into the commercial aspects of sharing their art. Manjula Martin, editor of the book, used to operate an online magazine with the same name, but preparing for the book’s release, I suppose, the site was cancelled so now if you want to know what authors are saying about getting paid for their work, you have to pay to read it. Ironic. There were insightful moments and statements that I have heard before but at least one controversial topic about whether popular authors can be too successful.
Buy Scratch on: Amazon | Book Depository
The Physics of Everyday Things by James Kakalios is also included in this video and you can read my full review of that one by clicking here.
Buy The Physics of Everyday Things on: Amazon| Book Depository
Click below to watch my video review on YouTube
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