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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Backlist Not to Miss: The Housekeeper and the Professor

Today I am taking a break from new reviews and posting the links to the 2x I read The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa.

I have been giving this book out to many people this summer.  Why?  Well, one, it is part of our popular book discussion collection so I have multiple, paperback copies.  Two, it is a quick, compelling read suitable to a wide audience.  And, three, it has this killer soundbite I use to book talk it:
A housekeeper is assigned by the agency she works for to take care of the a former mathematics professor's home and make his meals. She is the 9th housekeeper assigned to the professor. This is because the professor has a brain injury. He can remember everything that happened before his accident (1970s), but since, his memory is on a 80 minute loop. That's right, his memory only lasts 80 minutes. Intriguing, huh?
The ensuing story is about her time working for the Professor and the bond they form. It is about her son's relationship with her and the Professor. It is about the loss of a genius; we still see sparks of the old Professor as he works on complicated math problems. And finally, it is a story about living, no matter the obstacles; about living a life with meaning even if you cannot remember what happened 81 minutes ago.
So click here to see my initial review and here to see the book discussion report. And please don’t forget to push older titles.  There are more good books in your stacks than there are on your new shelf.  And that’s not a dig at the new books, it’s simple mathematical truth!

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