Lori's Book Nook

Archive for June 2007


Posted on: June 19, 2007

I wonder if it’s significant that two of the more memorable books I’ve read have to do with perfume…

Jitterbug Perfume is my favourite Tom Robbins book [not linking to any TR sites…there just seems to be Wikipedia and fan sites — nothing definitive]. If you’ve never read any Robbins, then you don’t know that he’s got a bit of thang for many a topic, and will take on a major theme or two in each book, going on these wonderful rants that end up being rather heady, like a warm brandy. In Jitterbug Perfume, the main theme is, of course, the power of our sense of smell….and sex, but then it’s always sex….oh, and beets.

Anyway, the sense of smell.

On the same theme is the brilliant novel by German author Patrick Suskind, Perfume.¬† It’s an adjective-rich descriptive soup of a novel…where you can almost perceive the stench of Paris in the Middle Ages rising up from the pages. Imagine reading it in the original German!!

We watched the movie version of Perfume: The Story of a Murder last night — well done! It was so nicely done that it was almost scratch’n’sniff (a la Odorama of John Waters)! Fetid Paris streets, foul tanneries, odiferous breath…ick. And the most difficult detail of the novel was subtly portrayed: that the main character, John Baptiste Grenouille, with his superhuman nose, had absolutely no aroma of his own. It’s an odd detail, covered in much more detail in the book, but conveyed in some very interesting ways.

I wonder if it would have been harder to discern if I hadn’t been looking for it?

Two very good books. One rather disturbing movie.


I found a guy I like online — the Burgomeister, and his books. Not only is he a reader, he’s someone who prefers to read online (I’ve been looking for one!):

I love the great novels on my computer screen because, for me, paper is passé.

So, here we’ve got a reader who has found a solution to the problem of friends borrowing books and not returning them. (I just realized last night that I loaned out my only copy of Sei Shonogan’s The Pillow Book.) He is lending out his ebooks to anyone who wants to borrow them.

Brilliant. Not only is he cool, he’s got similar taste in reading to me…lots of SF and such.

Go visit, follow his guidelines, and read.

I write book reviews for the Canadian Book Review Annual, a very comprehensive publication — reviews of all books published in Canada in a given year. It’s a huge mandate, and we reviewers get paid in books and experience…and it’s a truly wonderful thing to get a package of books in the mail.

Anyway, one of the latest books that arrived via Canada Post was Lost Girls and Love Hotels by Catherine Hanrahan.

Wow! I could not put this book down. All the fun and despair of the expat community in Asia, without dealing with the alcoholism yourself. Get this book for someone who has lived overseas, and those who are trying to make the decision to go — this book will help them decide, one way or another!

And no, this is not my CBRA review. It’ll be more literary, hopefully.

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Here on the Book Nook you can discuss: The Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, as well as the next two books in the Deptford Trilogy, The Manticore and World of Wonders, and if that's not enough for you, see what's up on the forums at BookTalk.org!