- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted March 13, 2013
Wow, Ruth Ozeki, you hooked me right away with Nao¿s story. A T
Wow, Ruth Ozeki, you hooked me right away with Nao’s story. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki was very different from what I expected (although I have no idea what I DID expect) but it was amazing.
I requested this book from NetGalley after seeing the cover everywhere and reading a few positive reviews, like Bookmagnet’s post. A Tale for the Time Being comes out today, and it is one that you really must read.
Nao is a Japanese teenager who is just living a crappy life. She went with her parents to California, where she lived from being a young child to age 15. The dot com bubble burst, forcing her dad not only out of the job but all of their invested money went down the drain. Now her dad’s favorite hobby is trying to kill himself.
Nao is also being bullied immensely at school, being physically tortured, cut, poked, etc. So if she’s worthless, and her dad is going to commit suicide, she might as well try to do the same. . . once she gets her thoughts out on paper.
She finds comfort in her grandmother, Jiko, and in her task of writing out what is intended to be Jiko’s story, but really turns into Nao’s story.
How does the reader meet Nao? Well, fast forward a few years to a remote island in Canada, where Ruth and her husband randomly find some zip lock bags washed up on shore, with Nao’s diary, a second diary written by a man in French, and some letters inside.
Ruth is captivated by Nao’s story, and so was I! I loved this book and raced through it. But I have to admit I was much more captivated by Nao’s storyline than Ruth’s.
What book has captivated you lately?
Thanks for reading,
Rebecca @ Love at First Book
9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 14, 2013
Another fine piece of writing by Ruth Ozeki. A Tale For the Time
Another fine piece of writing by Ruth Ozeki. A Tale For the Time Being is a tale for all beings. This book focuses on two central characters and the diary that connects them together through time and place.
In her signature style Ms. Ozeki has done a superb job of weaving together a profound tale that explores the unique relationship between writer and reader. Nao the diary’s writer is a victim of intense and extreme bullying. She has made the decision to end her life but has committed herself to honour her great grandmother, a 104 year old Buddhist nun by chronicling her life story before doing so. Ruth the reader is a novelist struggling to regain her writing voice. She finds the diary one day washed up on the shorline of the remote British Columbia Island she currently resides on. As she reads further into the diary Ruth finds herself being pulled and drawn into Nao’s world. Through the reading of Nao’s words Ruth begins to find words she thought she had lost forever. Ruth not only finds herself connecting to Nao through the diary she finds herself connecting with her husband as well. As she reads to him aloud from the diary she draws him into this other world with her.
As I read this book I felt myself being drawn deeper and deeper into the story. The more I read the harder it was for me to put the book down. I felt deeply connected to the story and the characters. This book masterfully binds the reader and writer together though the common threads of humanity. The book draws its strength from ancient Buddhist wisdom and powerfully reminds us of the interconnectness of all beings.
I received an advance copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program and feel privileged to have been one of the first to read it. This is a book worth reading and I highly recommend it. I am confident it will be added to many must read lists for 2013. Make sure you add it to yours.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 22, 2013
It's not often a book gets me excited about reading it as soon a
It's not often a book gets me excited about reading it as soon as I open it, but that's what happened with A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. Right away, in the first few pages, readers are treated to a unique, young voice. Naoko is contemplative, wiser than she realizes, and speaks without tempering her words. She displays a very stark self-awareness which often caused me to catch my breath.
This novel has so many intricate layers, I know I can't do it justice in this review. A colleague of mine once told me he always loves listening to, performing, and conducting Beethoven's 5th Symphony, even though he's done so countless times. For him, it never gets old or stale. He always hears something new, notices something that gives it even more depth and meaning. I can imagine reading A Tale for the Time Being again and again and having this same reaction.
In a way, I think Naoko exemplifies the complexity and full freedom of religion in modern Japanese culture. She isn't overtly religious, but she is very open-minded, which allows her to pull the truths and strength she desperately needs. Naoko's time with her great-grandmother Jiko is profoundly beautiful, and the descriptions of Buddhist traditions and ceremonies are absolutely breathtaking.
Ruth says she "wanted to read at the same rate [Naoko] had lived" and at times found it difficult to resist the temptation to quickly devour the entire story. I definitely shared that feeling! I found myself getting impatient during the scenes with Ruth and Oliver. I just wanted Ruth to get back to reading Naoko's diary. I had to know what happened next!
A Tale for the Time Being will appeal to those who enjoy contemporary fiction, those who enjoy a bit of the fantastic with some magical realism, those who like their fiction to be intertwined with science, philosophy, history, and politics. Marcel Proust is quoted in the book: "Every reader, while he is reading, is the reader of his own self." Ozeki explores some thought-provoking angles concerning the importance of the reader to a novel. This novel challenged and stretched my thinking, and I always appreciate that.
This was my first time reading any of Ozeki's books, and I am left with the compulsion to go buy everything she's written. I am certain this novel is going to end up listed as one of the best releases of the year.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 10, 2013
I fell in love with this book. Although there are some graphic bullying parts and some somewhat boring scientific information...the book captivates you. It is very well written and has many beautiful statements of life to enjoy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 8, 2013
A Tale of Adolescent Self-Absorption
Perhaps I'm not the intended reader, but I really wanted to enjoy this book; I just couldn't. The protagonist is a teenager who alternates between normal adolescent angst and bizarre fantasies, all written in a journal that she hopes will be found. The couple who find have their own issues as a couples and neuroses as individuals, all of it analyzed here. The problem is that not one of these characters is compelling enough to make me care about their problems or their outcome.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 13, 2013
Posted March 17, 2013
Posted March 16, 2013
This is one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read
This is one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. Ozeki is a master at subtlety and brings the story of found diary written by a 16 year old girl in Japan to the shores of British Colombia with wit, wisdom and charm. A MUST read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 27, 2013
No text was provided for this review.
Posted April 30, 2013
No text was provided for this review.