June 9, 2010

Summer Reading

Following the sometimes Brooklynesque (don't you just love/hate when people add -esque to the end of a word?) theme here on the blog, I want to share a book called just that, Brooklyn.

Written by the Irish author Colm Tóibín, it tells the story of a young woman crossing the Atlantic from Ireland by herself and arriving in Brooklyn in the fifties. I mean, it was still the fifties when she left Ireland. You get the picture. It takes place in the fifties. (So much easier just saying it that way from the beginning, right? If time traveling was involved, it would be a very different book, I believe). Anyhow, it gives great insight in how it must have been for thousands and thousands of young people starting a new life in and around New York in the post war times, or starting anew in general anywhere in the world really.

At first I found the book quite simple on the surface, with a story that could seem almost ordinary, interesting nonetheless. But the more you understand about the characters and their choices, the more grand and heart breaking is this story. I thought it was a great, great read, and the simple language and style in which it is written is almost seamless - you barely notice that you're reading.

I'd say this little piece of book is definitely worth your time.

What are you reading this summer?

Coney Island way back in the day, way pre-fifties time. Picture from Brooklyn Public Library Online Catalog.


Amanda said...

I love it! I'm going to have to check that out! (And the old photos as well).

I've been reading alot of Jane Austen lately and plan on reading Emma next. I'm also in the middle of reading Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (really cool if you're into scifi/fantasy), and I'm waiting to get my hands on the 4th book in the Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott, called The Necromancer.

Helen said...

This sounds like a lovely read! I really enjoy reading about New York in the earlier decades... so inspiring!

mia said...

Thanks for the tip!
Me, I'm reading Zadie Smith (all of her books), Francoise Sagan - Bonjour Tristesse (lovely!) and Khaled Hosseini.


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