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catfish has commented on (29) products.

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
All My Puny Sorrows

catfish, March 20, 2015

This is a heartbreakingly beautiful book. Considering that most of the "action" in the book takes place in the psychiatric ward of a hospital , beside the bedside of a suicidal concert pianist, the book is amazingly and compellingly readable. It is warm, life-affirming, tragic and even funny. The central relationship between the two sisters--- one a brilliant woman who has everything to live for but doesn't want to and the other, a woman who is trying to get a messed-up life in order but keeps on going in the face of 2 divorces, bad career moves and uncertain future--- is drawn with so much heart and understanding. The subsidiary characters--- the elderly mother who is a hoot and wants to embrace life in the face of a husband and daughter's suicide, the best-friend cousin, the kids, etc, are as carefully and sympathetically drawn as the sisters themselves. I am amazed that with such a dark theme this book could resonate with me so much and make me laugh and cry at the same time.
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The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Signature of All Things

catfish, November 20, 2013

I loved this book! And even if you are one of those people who hated Eat, Pray, Love, you should give this a try. It is entirely different. A big, sweeping historical novel that spans much of the 19th century with its spirit of scientific discovery and invention, it is also the story of one family, and one woman in particular, her fascination with scientific endeavors, and the relationships, fulfilling and otherwise, that give shape to her life. The novel explores the big issues like the origins and purpose of life, while also being an intimate portrait of a woman's psyche. The characters are wonderful, rich and so real you wish you could know them and have a conversation.
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(5 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)

After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story by Michael Hainey
After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story

catfish, March 19, 2013

Michael Hainey never got over his father's untimely and somewhat mysterious death at age 35. Growing up without a father he always felt different. Now as an adult, he goes back to find out what really happened the night his father died, a death that occurred in the early morning hours in a street far from home and with no obvious witnesses. In the process of tracking down people who might remember what happened, he learns a lot about himself, his mother, his family and the father he never really knew. It is a haunting and touching story of self-discovery, and the family secrets that we all live with.
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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars

catfish, January 30, 2013

Not just for young adults! Best book of the year.
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Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis

catfish, January 5, 2013

A fascinating look at the life of photographer Edward Curtis and his quest to capture the vanishing way of life of the American Indian at the turn of the century. The book captures the essence of Curtis's photographs-- his treatment of the American Indian and their disappearing culture with respect,honesty,empathy and great beauty --- and his desire to capture these images for all time.
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