‘A scintillating book’: Amazon review of ‘The Jasmine Bloom’

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News of the World: Paulette Jiles


Set in the period just after the civil war, ‘News of the World’ is a sweet story of an old man and a young girl bonding in strange circumstances.  Johanna had been kidnapped by Indians as a child, and after years with them, she is being returned to her relatives.  Captain Kidd, the old gentleman, who makes his living reading news of the world in small towns, is tasked with taking her to her relatives.  Thus begins an unusual journey, where the girl, with no English, and Indian in her ways, and the old man forge a bond that lasts a life time. Jiles does a good job capturing the tumultuous tension of the period, where everything was unsettled and new norms were being put in place (she ignores the race aspect completely though).  A little verbose at times with the setting, but a smooth read overall.


Lincoln in the Bardo: George Saunders

‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ is experimental, magic-realism writing.  Willy Lincoln, Abe Lincoln’s son is dead, at a time when civil war has just started causing major causalities.  Willy Lincoln makes it to the other world, the world between here and the ultimate there, populated by people with still-unfinished business in this world.  It is the multiple stories of those people that are interesting – as their stories encompass civil rights and the race divide, the same sex love, and many other issues of that time and today.  The writing is superb, the stories engrossing, if too many.  It is a little difficult to understand at the beginning , but the story unfolds slowly, draws you in and holds you.


Turtles All The Way Down: John Green



Aza Holmes is a teenaged germ phobic, whose day to day life is fraught with her fighting with her own self, to get over her irrational fears.  The story of the missing millionaire, and Aza findings his whereabouts, her romance with Davis, friendship with Daisy, all  serve as a backdrop for Holmes story.  Green does a great job of portraying the main character – her teenage issues, and her dealing with her mental illness.  Your heart goes to Aza and her inability to enjoy herself. Written with humor and exceptional compassion.


A few lines from ‘The Jasmine Bloom’

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A Few Moments More

You knock on my door
And tell me to follow you
It’s time, you say
Time to leave.

I realize
I need a few moments more
I need to see how the jasmine I planted come out in the spring
And if the amaltas flowers will be as beautiful this summer.

I need to hear my girl’s laughter once more, See her smile light
up the room once more
I need to take her small hand in mine…
And thank God once more…

I need to visit countries, continents.
I need to see all the world has got to show me.

Oh there is so much I need to do!
Can’t we wait a bit?
Come- let’s wait a bit.

A few moments more
A few years more.