Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Finds!

Friday Finds hosted by Should Be Reading asks us to share what great books we heard about or discovered in the past week.

My finds are from browsing on

When the Finch Rises by Jack Riggs:

When the Finch Rises is the debut novel of an author whose work will be read as classic literature for a long time to come. It is a story full of truths and revelations, transcending its fictional bounds to become something so real and so finely wrought that it will simply astonish. Jack Riggs has created an emotional testament to the myriad shades of the human condition.

It is the late 1960s in the small North Carolina mill town of Ellenton. Twelve-year-old Raybert Williams and his best friend Palmer Conroy live in cramped homes in a working-class neighborhood, but they use the vast outdoors as their personal playground. Yet hardships are never far away. Raybert’s father disappears for days at a time, only to come home broken and battered. Raybert’s mother is a loving woman who battles her own demons while struggling to keep it all together. Palmer’s family life offers no better refuge for the adventure-seeking boys.

But Raybert and Palmer have each other. And in that glorious friendship, they are significantly blessed. They dream together of space flight and moonwalks. They construct a bike jump to rival Evel Knievel’s–and they’ll run it once they work up the courage. Knievel tempted fate and won, taking a leap over twenty buses on faith alone, soaring high and landing safely, even after many crashes and broken bones. Palmer and Raybert have their own plan that, once executed, will take them all the way to the ocean, landing them intact and together on the other side of freedom.

Through the scrim of adolescence and poverty, Jack Riggs offers a glimpse of universal human foibles and singular moments of transcendence. Fiercely honest and beautifully narrated, When the Finch Rises flashes like the sharp rim of the eclipsed moon on the night when Raybert and Palmer’s fate is finally revealed.

Manhattan, When I Was Young
by Mary Cantwell:

Former writer and editor for Vogue and Mademoiselle, Cantwell locates her memories of work, friends, marriage, and motherhood in the places where she's dwelled. Five Manhattan apartments act as mental guide in retracing the footsteps of her past. From neurosis and near anorexia to the awe of her first Paris trip, Cantwell's memoir speaks intimately, honestly, and in a generous way that makes readers feel as though they were listening to a personal account retold only for them. Her earlier work, American Girl: Scenes from a Small-Town Childhood (1992), garnered attention and praise for the strength of its language, choice of details, and resonance of subject matter. This book, too, has all that plus Manhattan's eloquence in the 1950s and 1960s. Although this chronicle could easily succumb to politically correct revisions of the past or become a sentimental trip down memory lane, Cantwell avoids those pitfalls through sincerity--a true attempt to recall accurately and learn from her past. Somewhat literary, offering a little superficial fashion world "glam" and New York savvy, this book should appeal to many different kinds of readers.

What did YOU find today???


Carol Murdock said...

Hey Missy~ stopped in to say Hi and check on you! XOXO :)

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Fabulous finds! I'm going to have to check out that site.

The "Manhattan" memoir intrigues me.

Minding Spot said...

I have an award for you here:

Midlife Roadtripper said...

The Elegance of the Hedgehog. My book club is reading it and I had lost my book, halfway through. After the discussion, I want to finish it. Have borrowed another member's copy.

Love your banner for this month.

gautami tripathy said...

Both seem good!

Here is my Friday Find: Vanished by R. A. Scotti.

serendipity_viv said...

I have been after the Manhattan one for ages, since I found it listed in the back of a really old book.

Library Cat said...

Manhattan When I Was Young sounds like a great read. I tend to prefer non-fiction and I am always excited to read a positive review on this memoir.

Came by from the blog hop - although I have been by before as well!

Lisa said...

I hadn't heard of Manhattan, When I Was Young. It's sounds really interesting!


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