A touching pictorial memoir by photographer Phillip Toledano, chronicling the last three years of his father's life. Through photos and text, he captures his dad's battle with memory loss and the tenacity of a man determined to make the most of his life, despite the fading twilight.
This is a book you can browse through quickly, or if you like, linger on the images and immerse yourself in the little vignettes. These are intimate portraits, so intimate you feel as if you are in the sitting room, by the bed, or at the kitchen table. Some of the images and accompanying text are humorous, more often they are sad and poignant. Like the ones that Phillip takes of his dad's scribbles which are left about the house. One says, "Where is everybody?" Touching, hauntingly beautiful and yet, so full of love and life. A gentle reminder of the inevitable end that awaits us all. Will we slip so gracefully and so loved into the night? - Fran
Let's face it. This is not a book you read in one sitting. This is not a book you read for fun. This is a book that will invoke claustrophobia and feelings of helplessness. This is also not a book for the squeamish. This is a tale about an Afghan woman, stuck in her home, nursing a husband who is barely alive, keeping her children in check, even as she totters between grief, anger, frustration, sanity and helplessness. Outside, the bombs explode, sending dust and dirt everywhere; now and then, the sound of chants from wannabe martyrs punctures the silence; occasionally there is also the peppering of gun fire. Haunting, dark and sad. Very sad. - Fran
Imagine multiple afterlives. Imagine they are not as usually portrayed - not just harps and angels and pearly gates. One of them is a waiting room. This is where you go and you must wait, and wait, and wait. Until your name is no longer spoken on the earthly plane. Otherwise, you're stuck.
David Eagleman's deceptively simple scenarios in this collection of short stories can be read in a few ways. As the wanderings of a very imaginative mind. Or the musings of a neuroscientist (which is what he is) about the correlation between the mind, the body and the soul. Or a man who's just trying to remind us to stop griping and be grateful for all the many little things we take for granted, 'cos life really ain't that bad. Read it whichever way you like. You'll still be amused no doubt. - Fran
I really, really enjoyed this book. Read it in two days I did. Was transported to Mississippi circa 1960s, into leafy suburbs with rusty Cadillacs lining dust streets, where at any moment I imagined Willem Dafoe and Gene Hackman's FBI agents would turn round the corner and would not be amiss. A story with believable, likeable protagonists, and where a few 'villains' are, it must be given, wafer thin in terms of personality or character development. Nevertheless, a story with heart and a good handful of twists and turns to keep the page turning. And I ended up rooting for a good ending for all the long-suffering, tough-as-old-boots, indomitable women who inhabited this novel. In fact, I 'saw' the entire book in my mind's eye as a Hallmark/HBO mini series with Oprah or Lisa Bonnet on the cast. Nothing wrong with that. Visceral, visual and exhilarating. - Fran