Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Lipstick & Magazines #34: True

Stranger than fiction? Maybe.

Nobody Knows - Four Japanese children abandoned by their mother, forced by the memory of her rules to stay inside a tiny apartment, only the eldest son "allowed" out, to spend down the small amount of money she has left them. By no stretch of the imagination is this a light movie, but children are children - they are lovely and innocent and resilient. Highly recommended and based on a true story.

Jesus Land - Continuing the themes of survival at the hands of neglectful parents, this recently-published memoir by Bay Area writer Julia Scheeres, tells of her childhood and adolescence, growing up in rural Indiana as a white girl with two adopted black brothers,a missionary wannabe mother, and an abusive doctor father, and her eventual banishment to a Dominican Republic reform school with her beloved brother David. I picked up this galley at ALA, had started it a few times, and when I finally got hooked in, finished it in a single day. Entirely compelling for being so unvarnished and so relatable.

Dispatches from a Public Librarian - Getting too heavy here? Take a laugh break with this ongoing McSweeney's online feature. Scott Douglas works at a public library "nestled cozily between Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm in Orange County, California," and tells stories about the craziness of public librarianship that more often than not induce cringing or chuckling - sometimes both. There are 20 here to start with, and he updates every month or so.

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