Title inspiration

What’s on your pile of books to read? Why is it there? Word-of-mouth? Is it the cover that compels you to pick up a book? For me, the title can be a great trigger to assumptions of what’s between the covers. It can also serve as a source of word whimsy as I sit here, looking at my stack of reading choices:

Swimming Home in a Sea of Hooks, dragged down by The Weight of Bloodthe UnAmericans felt like they were Living with a Wild God in a Hollow City.

A Circle of Wives try to Keep Quiet on This Dark Road to Mercy, yet all they need to do is play a little Frog Music In Paradise, to become part of The Book of Unknown Americans.

As facilitator of the library’s monthly fiction group, I have the privilege of choosing our selections. When I chose Ruth Ozeki’s “A Tale for the Time Being,” I took the phrase, “for the time being” at face value, not considering the full implication of the many dimensions of the author’s intentions. Shortlisted for the Booker, the story feels like it has been penned by a magical being. Ozeki (also a Zen Buddhist priest and filmmaker), casts a spell upon readers as she conjures the tale of a suicidal sixteen-year-old Nao (“Now”), whose diary washes ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox and is found by a writer (Ruth) on a remote Canadian island. Nao’s life is filled with the brutality of her classmates’ bullying and the knowledge that her father is determined to kill himself. What keeps her going is her effort to use her diary to document the life of her 104-year-old great grandmother and Zen Buddhist nun, Jiko. It is the character of Jiko whose presence presides over the pages with a canopy of light, but it is the voice of Nao that will keep you turning until the end.

We’d love to hear your voices. Tell us what you’re reading. And think about joining us at the March 13th fiction book group when we’ll be taking a turn to lighten up after all of this snow with “The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson.

How’s that for a title?

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