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Jaida has commented on (3) products.

Embassytown by China Mieville

Jaida, January 5, 2013

China Mieville realizes all his potential in this brilliant book that tackles the intersections of language, mind, sentience, social structure, and brain function. This is one of the few really alien species any writer has developed (not just humans in different skins). It is one of the most riveting explorations of what it would be like to be in intimate contact with a truly alien way of thinking (in this case, without the human ability to think metaphorically) I have ever read. Earlier more dystopic books by Mieville tended to leave me cold, but this one has a protagonist I could empathize with. Altogether, it was a joy to engage as a reader with this very intelligent writer in this book. It is the single book I have most insisted everyone I know read this year.
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Cloud Atlas: A Novel by David Mitchell
Cloud Atlas: A Novel

Jaida, January 1, 2011

I'd been reading reviews about David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob Zoet. I couldn't find any of his books in my local bookstore except Black Swan Green, which I bought (used) and read with increasing joy. At last, I've found a new real writer, someone who loves language but doesn't overdo it with false flourishes; who loves people and creates characters I want to know; who is deeply imaginative but creates worlds that feel familiar. Then I purchased The Thousand Autumns of Jacob Zoet, a slower and subtler novel, but rich with details that felt true to me (having lived in Japan for several years). Again, I was completely drawn in to the world he created, cared about the people he'd created, but was also delighted by his language, the sentences themselves. Finally, I read Cloud Atlas - and here were 6 worlds to inhabit, entirely different characters, changes of voice, visions of futures....I jumped back and forth, rereading passages, savoring sentences, then scurrying forward to follow the different plots. His pacing, his words....the brilliance of the whole...What can I say? It's hard to choose any best loved book for 2010, but the three of these would have to be the top three, and Cloud Atlas finally the very greatest.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar
The Rabbi's Cat

Jaida, January 5, 2010

Although I've read lots of good books in the past decade, I have only kept a few to reread. The Rabbi's Cat (and its sequel) by Joann Sfar is the favorite addition to my (overburdened) bookcases. Not only do I read it again every year or so - because it is so gorgeous, funny, poignant, and unique - it is also the single book I've most often recommended or purchased to give to friends.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

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