As the weather takes a turn for the wetter, we thought it might be time to introduce some bookworm-friendly material. First, we’re excited about this revolutionary bookmark Maeve thought up: Print out this cute and functional Your Heart Out magnetic bookmark, and never lose track of your page number again. It’s practically life-changing. Just be sure to print it out on cardstock, and follow the (easy) directions. Click here to download.
As for books, We think it’s safe to say that if you like Dave Eggers, you will love Jonathan Safran Foer. You’ve got to be up for a broken heart, though—the kind that’s more tender and tragic than Staggering Genius will throw at you.
Foer delivered his first National Jewish Book Award- and Guardian First Book Award-winning novel at the ripe old age of 25. Called Everything is Illuminated, it’s the story of a 20-something New York writer looking to retrace his Jewish roots in the Ukraine. Along the way, sad and ancient histories unfold, though heartwarming and hilarious friendships give birth.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is Foer’s second novel, released in 2005. Though his first work is nothing short of brilliant, the follow-up is a little less intense and a little more accessible. This is perhaps because of its main character: nine-year-old Oskar, who has a larger-than-life imagination (the kind you wish you still had), a thing for French idioms, and who also lost his father in the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Oskar’s on a mission through New York’s boroughs to track down the one and only key that will unlock a mysterious box left behind by his dad. He thinks it’s all he has left.
In the jacket, Oskar is also described as an “inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler and pacifist.” If you’re interest still hasn’t sparked, Cynthia Ozick’s review goes as follows:
“Is there a novel that, in a fit of envy, Holden Caulfield, Huck Finn, Harriet the Spy, and Krazy Kat—all of the above—might long to enter? And would feel at home in? Yes! Jonathan Safran Foer’s funny, tender, tragic, ingeniously imaginative Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has all the kick and brio of a child’s wild vision and a child’s wild hurt. Foer’s nine-year-old Oskar Schell, confronting the cataclysm of our time, is an American original.”
Oskar is funny in that smart-but-naive little kid kind of way, and throughout your reading, you’ll find yourself wishing he would realize so you could give him a big hug, or at least have him recount the story of his first and last jujitsu class for you, in person.
You’ll see that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is dedicated to “Nicole, [Foer's] idea of beautiful.” Nicole is more commonly known as Nicole Krauss, also an author who penned an equally amazing and in-the-same-vein novel called The History of Love.
Ali has a signed copy of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close that you will never see for sale on eBay.
To see what else Foer has been up to, check out this link and this site.