Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year!

Unwinding at the day's end, I've poured myself a glass of Hennessy XO, a Christmas present from Rob in 2010, saved to celebrate promotions and savour special occasions.

It was a great night, spent among friends, the original Book Babes. Two books were on discussion:  Bride of New France and The Grief of Others.  I had chosen to read Bride of New France, but a TPL search showed the entire city library system was loaned out of the title and there were hundreds holds.  (Who knew a historical novel would be so popular?  I was going to buy the eBook, but it was way too expensive... more in fact, than soft and hard cover.  Plus the publisher (through Kobo) was not honouring discounts.  What's up with that?  Really, I would think it should be cheaper to buy an electronic book.  I digress.)

The clear favourite selection was The Grief of Others.   Those that had read each book felt that although Bride of New France was well researched and intriguing; it was more of a tale and not quite as authentic as The Grief of Others.  Despite the sad plot-line (divorce, death, estrangement), people described 'Grief' as "life-affirming", "true", and 'authentic'.  One reader cited its prologue as one of the best written passages they had ever encountered.

Confession time.  I hadn't read either title (gasp!).  But I had read several reviews and so was able to contribute to the conversation.  And now I know which of the two books I would prefer to read.

'The Grief of Others' is such an unappealing title, though.  I wonder if the editor/publisher tried to recommend something different to make it more appealing?  Was the author adamant it needed to stay?  Did the marketing department weigh in?  Given the choice between the two and life's recent events, anything with the word 'grief' was not compelling.  At least not in February.  So, lesson re-learned, although you can't judge books by their titles it certainly impacts their marketing (thinking of Book of Negroes among others).

On the way home from book club, I heard a great jazz tune called Leap Year, which led me to You Tube and other similarly named tunes.  Here is a bluesy, smokey, aptly titled riff, yours to enjoy:

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