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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Book Review: Invisible Me

A hearty congrats is due to one of my favorite bloggers, JACP, on becoming a published novelist! While she's been (phenomenally) in print before, this is way different; her first book was a memoir so this is the first time we get to see her creativity and insight in fiction. And I am impressed.

Tzipi has chosen a meaningful, relevant theme, expressed it through a very original content choice, and written it in a style both original and pleasing. Add that to the humor in realism we have come to expect from her, and we have a real winner on our hands.

I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't yet managed to get their hands on a copy (well, what other excuse would you have for not reading it yet?) so I'll just touch on a couple of points:

While the format (not your typical narrative!) took some getting used to and seemed potentially annoying at first, I ended up applauding that choice. Besides for lending an original character to the book, it keeps the reader moving along at a smooth clip. Between the dialogue, writings, and narrative, you never get that feeling of dragging through the print.

Telling a story through the thoughts of a person with selective mutism is an extremely original and quite ingenious way to examine greater themes of communication and relationships. Very, very clever. However, I'm a trifle concerned that it may be too clever. Not because Tzipi didn't weave her themes well enough, but because I don't trust the majority of the intended audience to appreciate the subtle messages. And although Tzipi has been very careful in her portrayal of selective mutism, the case in point is rather unusual, so I wonder if it mightn't inadvertently deepen misperceptions of the condition. Hopefully I'm just underestimating the depth of the average reader...

Of course, you can't really judge a book until you've reached the end; the entire journey hangs on the point of arrival. Fear not -- the final pages of Invisible Me are both satisfying and definitely un-cliché! The only problem is that it is liable to leave readers shouting "Encore!" So, Tzipi, thanks for the read but I hope your pen is still moving merrily along!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday: BOS To-Dos

Given the recent spate of blogger engagements and my own wealth of experience, the time has come for me to leave a legacy for all those undergoing, considering, or observing the human-bridosapien species change. Now, if you'll excuse me, it seems I have several items left to complete and running out of time, so... <rides off into sunset>

10. Practice signing with chosson's last name
9. Gaze dreamily into space (qualifies even if not due to preoccupation with wedding plans)
8. Introduce self to mirror as Mrs. Chosson
7. Examine engagement ring from every lighting angle (note: for those who do not wear rings until after the wedding, other jewelry items may be substituted)
6. Doodle monogram designs for wedding invitations
5. Cross off one day on calendar. Calculate how many hours left until chuppah. (computerized aids available for those BoSes too unfocused to perform these operations)
4. Update anyone who will listen (alt: anyone you see) on the nicest thing your chosson did today.
3. Post saccharine messages of love on chosson's facebook page, if applicable (thanks, Babysitter, never would have thought of that on my own ;-) ) For those without facebook, I suppose you will just have to compose sweet, handwritten love letters on flower-scented stationery?
2. Find out chosson's preferences in food, dish patterns, etc. Hire FBI agent if necessary.
1. For the teacher kallahs, life must go on, so don't forget to prepare your kallah classes! See next post for details.