Saturday, December 15, 2007

Old favorites

Snow and holiday stresses bring some old favorites to mind - well-written books that are not too demanding and have a few lol moments and feel-good endings. Here are two you won't want to miss:

The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill. (2000)

Surprisingly enough, the Minotaur is alive and well, living in a mobile home park in North Carolina. It’s not easy being the Minotaur, half-man, half-bull; 5000 years is a lot of history to carry around, immortality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and those bull’s horns just aren’t well accommodated by most human furnishings. But … he manages. He has his job as prep cook at Grub’s Rib and relationships of a sort with some of the fully human. A bull-headed man may sound like not very subtle symbolism but, in fact, Sherrill has created a fully realized character and a delightful, poignant and often hilarious story of difference and the possibilities of connection.

Lambs of God by Marele Day. 1998.

A young Catholic priest in Australia, seeking to distinguish himself, discovers that the Church owns property in a remote corner of Australia and he decides to investigate its commercial development potential. Unbeknownst to him, this land is the site of a long forgotten convent – forgotten, but not abandoned. A few sisters and their sheep remain and they have no intention of being developed. The ensuing struggle is both profound and hilarious. Secrets are revealed, vocations are questioned. Caution! There are irreverent moments in this book

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