Daily Archives: January 31, 2012

Books of the Month – January 2012

I just loved Just My Type, a thoroughly enjoyable romp through fonts and typefaces.

I also liked two family stories:

  • The Boy in the Moon, the true and heartbreaking story of a severely handicapped boy and his dad’s quest to take care of him.
  • We The Animals, a tight, harsh novel about three boys growing up with flawed parents, but parents who love them very much

and finally I recommend Poor Economics, a clinical look at how poor people behave with their finances — just like not-so-poor people, it turns out, minus the cushion of cash in the bank, which means any mistake can be fatal.

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Filed under New fiction

** The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit by Lucette Lagnado

The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit is the  first part of the author’s memoir (the second, The Arrogant Years I read last month). It focuses for the most part on earlier memories and especially on her father, who did look dashing in, yes, a white sharkskin suit, in the Cairo of his youth, while The Arrogant Years focused more on her mother and more on their lives in New York. The author managed to create two memoirs on pretty much the same events that hardly repeat one another, so both are worth reading.

This book is a love paean to her father, who consistently adored his youngest child even as he often treated her mother shabbily, at least from a modern perspective, and even when his prosperous Egyptian ways are reduced to penury in Paris and eventually the US as Jews were chased out of Egypt in the 1950’s. Throughout, she is able to recreate settings and situations so vividly that it’s easy to forget that she left Cairo as a little girl, and certainly was not around when her parents are courting. A great portrait of a larger than life man and  a family with many hardships.

 

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Filed under True story