Friday Finds is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading to “showcase the books you ‘found’ and added to your TBR list” each week. Here’s what I added:
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
Historical Fiction; 350 pages
It’s Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambridge and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in Kuala Lumpur, in memory of her sister who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses, but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice ‘until the monsoon comes’. Then she can design a garden for herself. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to her sensei and his art while, outside the garden, the threat of murder and kidnapping from the guerrillas of the jungle hinterland increases with each passing day. But the Garden of Evening Mists is also a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? What is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war? (from Goodreads)
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
Memoir; 399 pages
Out of Africa is Isak Dinesen’s memoir of her years in Africa, from 1914 to 1931, on a four-thousand-acre coffee plantation in the hills near Nairobi. She had come to Kenya from Denmark with her husband, and when they separated she stayed on to manage the farm by herself, visited frequently by her lover, the big-game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton, for whom she would make up stories “like Scheherazade.” In Africa, “I learned how to tell tales,” she recalled many years later. “The natives have an ear still. I told stories constantly to them, all kinds.” Her account of her African adventures, written after she had lost her beloved farm and returned to Denmark, is that of a master storyteller, a woman whom John Updike called “one of the most picturesque and flamboyant literary personalities of the century.” (from Goodreads)
One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing by Diane Ackerman
Memoir; 322 pages
Everyone who cherishes the gift of language will cherish Diane Ackerman’s narrative masterpiece, an exquisitely written love story and medical miracle story, one that combines science, inspiration, wisdom, and heart. One day Ackerman’s husband, Paul West, an exceptionally gifted wordsmith and intellectual, suffered a terrible stroke. When he regained awareness he was afflicted with aphasia—loss of language—and could utter only a single syllable: “mem.” The standard therapies yielded little result but frustration. Diane soon found, however, that by harnessing their deep knowledge of each other and her scientific understanding of language and the brain she could guide Paul back to the world of words. This triumphant book is both a humane and revealing addition to the medical literature on stroke and aphasia and an exquisitely written love story: a magnificent addition to literature, period. (from Goodreads)
Shakespeare: A Guide to the Complete Works by Michael J. Cummings
Non-fiction; 580 pages
Shakespeare: A Study Guide summarizes and analyzes the plays and poems of William Shakespeare. It lists themes, describes characters, identifies figures of speech and allusions, discusses writing techniques, and provides a wealth of other background information. What caused the feud between the families of Romeo and Juliet? Why didn’t Hamlet succeed to the thrones of Denmark after the murder of his father? What do the witches in Macbeth mean whey they say “fair is foul and foul is fair”? This guide answers all those questions. It also discusses in detail the format and meaning of Shakespeare’s sonnets and other poems. (from Goodreads)
In other news, I will be out of town for the rest of the week. I’m going to Epcot with some college friends of mine. I haven’t been in since the 5th grade when we got stuck in the hot room on Test Track! Hopefully, that won’t happen this time! I hope you all have a lovely weekend!
What have you added to your TBR list this week?