Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hot Off the Presses

Today's issue of Shelf Awareness had articles about two brand-new books that I've added to my wish list.

The first is We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals that Change Their Lives by Benjamin Mee. Here's the book description:

Benjamin Mee decided to uproot his family and move them to an unlikely new home: a dilapidated zoo on the English countryside, complete with over 200 exotic animals. It was his dream to refurbish the zoo and run it as a family business. There was much work to be done, and none of it easy. Tigers broke loose, money ran low, the staff grew skeptical, and family tensions ran high. Then tragedy struck. His wife had a recurrence of a brain tumor, forcing Benjamin and his children to face the heartbreak of illness and the devastating loss of a wife and mother. But inspired by her memory and the healing power of the incredible family of animals they had grown to love, Benjamin and his kids resovled to move forward. The Mee family opened the gates of the revitalized zoo in July 2007.

Being both Anglophile and critter lover, this sounds right up my alley!

The second is The Journal of Jules Renard, edited and translated by Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Roget. Renard began his journal at the age of 23, and it spans twenty-four years. The quote junkie in me can't wait to get my hands on this for such lines as:

As sad to watch as someone you love disappearing into the fog.

The dripping countryside. Raindrops threaded on narrow branches. Now and then, in a sweep of light, the sun slowly wipes dry a field, a village, a wood.

The cat asleep, well-buttoned into its fur.

Renard was an observer of nature who could also write very well. His journal has been out of print since 1964, so it's good to see it return.
Although influential to many writers, his work is virtually unknown in the US. I, for one, intend to become familiar with it.

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