Natasha and Other Stories
2 journalers for this copy...
I was tickled to find this one at the Millennium Library's used book table. I had actually wanted to read this when HarperCollins had offered it up in their "First Look" program and was disappointed when they didn't send me a copy. I've been meaning to buy it ever since.
And that's how it was with this book. God, how I loved Mark Berman and his family. Mark Berman is not Italian. He and his family are Russian Jews who came to Canada in the 1980's and the stories follow them from Mark's childhood to his early adulthood as the family tries to adjust to a new country. Sometimes the stories were funny and sometimes sad, sometimes touchingly sad and funny at the same time. But all of them had this refreshing "newness" or "sense of discovery" to them, the same thing that I relished as a teenager with the Lillians. Imagine having a father who was a massage therapist ("Roman Berman, Massage Therapist") or having a weight-lifter as your childhood idol ("The Second Strongest Man") or imagine attempting to get in to a subsized retirement home as Mark's grandfather does and learning that there's a waiting list (not all that unusual) but that your chances of getting in might just be a little better if you happened to be a pious Jewish man (because the building had its own synagogue that was having difficulty forming a minyan).
My only regret about this book was that it was too short - seven stories in all. I would have been happier with twice that many.
---to be continued---
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
If there's no takers at tonight's meet up I'll leave this book on the shelf in the loft.
It is waiting there for a new reader to take home, read, and release back into the wild!
Winnipeg bookcrossers meet at my location on the second Tuesday of every month at 7pm to chat about books, swap great reads, and release on the OBCZ shelves. Please join us! We love to see new faces! You will enjoy the comfy atmosphere, the fabulous coffees and teas, and the yummy treats!