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Bücherliste 2018

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Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper

Obwohl die Taschenbuchausgabe mittlerweile billiger ist als das E-Book, konnte ich einfach nicht länger widerstehen und lud es mir auf den Paperwhite. Und - natürlich - lohnte es sich doch, nicht nur wegen der unerwarteten Enthüllung am Ende der Anhörung und dem völlig überraschenden Ende (das vermutlich vielen Lesern das Buch verleidet hat), sondern auch weil viele Nebencharaktere genauso bewegend und mitreissend geschrieben sind wie die Hauptpersonen, und Picoult es schafft selbst die am negativsten erscheinende Figur der Mutter sympathisch und verständlich zu machen.

Normal, in our house, is like a blanket too short for a bed - sometimes it covers you just fine, and other times it leaves you cold and shaking; and worst of all, you never know which of the two it's going to be.
.
Mr Hume, my science teacher, taught us about the primordial soup full of natural gases and muddy slop and carbon matter that somehow solidified into one-celled organisms called choanoflagellates...which sound a lot more like a sexually transmitted disease than the start of the evolutionary chain, in my opinion. But even once you get there, it's a huge leap from an amoeba to a monkey to a whole thinking person.
The really amazing thing about all this is no matter what yuo believe, it took some doing to get from a point where there was nothing, to a point where all the right neurons fire and pop so that we can make decisions.
More amazing is how even though that's become second nature, we all still manage to screw it up.
.
When you have been with your partner for so many years, they become the glove compartment map that you've worn dog-eared and white-creased, the trail you recognize so well you could draw it by heart and for this very reason keep it with you on journeys at all times. And yet, when you least expect it, one day you open your eyes and there is an unfamiliar turnoff, a vantage point that wasn't there before, and you have to stop and wonder if maybe this landmark isn't new at all, but rather something you have missed all along.
.
I try to work through the few things she has said, tracing them and trying to make sense of them the way the Greeks somehow found five points in the sky and decided it looked like a woman's body.
Then it hits me - I am looking in the wrong place. The Aboriginal people of Australia, for example, look between the constellations of the Greeks and the Romans into the black wash of sky, and find an emu hiding under the Southern Cross where there are no stars. There are just as many stories to be told in the dark spots as there are in the bright ones.
.
There's an indigenous tribe in Africa that tells of life coming from the second star in Alpha Centauri, the one no one can see without a high-powered telescope. Come to think of it, the Greeks, the Aboriginals, and the Plains Indians all lived continents apart and all, independently, looked at the same septuplet knot of the Pleiades and believed them to be seven yuong girls running away from something that threatened to hurt them.
Make of it what you will.

(Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper, 2004)

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Jodi Picoult, Vanishing Acts

Mein viertes Buch von Picoult ist der bisher am breitesten gefächerte - als ob die Kernstory von der Entführung noch nicht genug wäre, geht es hier um Alkoholismus, Gefängnisleben, Kultur und Traditionen der Hopi, mexikanische Hexen, die Arbeit der Rettungsspürhunde, die Authenzität und Manipulation von Erinnerungen - und alles wie immer unglaublich packend und nahegehend in einer faszinierenden Geschichte zusammengefaßt. So allmählich macht mich die Autorin süchtig.
.
.
Sometimes parents don't find what they're looking for in their child, so they plant seeds for what they'd like to grow there instead. I've witnessed this with the former hockey player who takes his son out to skate before he can even walk. Or in the mother who gave up her ballet dreams when she married, but now scrapes her daughter's hair into a bun and watches from the wings of the stage. We are not, as you'd expect, orchestrating their lives; we are not even trying for a second chance. We're hoping that if this one thing takes root, it might take up enough light and space to keep something else from developing in our children: the disappointment we've already lived.
.
I suddenly remember being very little and being embraced by my father. I would try to put my arms around my father's waist, hug him back. I could never reach the whole way around the equator of his body; although I'd squeeze hard, he was that much larger than life. Then one day, I could do it. I held him, instead of him holding me, and all I wanted at that moment was to have it back the other way.
.
"It just goes to show you," my father told me, on the last good day, "the world's only as big as what you know."
.
I realize suddenly, that everyone is a liar. Memories are like a still life painted by ten different student artists: some will be blue-based; others red; some will be as stark as Picasso and others as rich as Rembrandt; some will be foreshortened and others distant. Recollections are in the eye of the beholder; no two held up side by side will ever quite match.

(Jodi Picoult, Vanishing Acts, 2005)

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Gesammelte erste Sätze


I was six years old the first time I disappeared.

(aus: Jodi Picoult, Vanishing Acts, 2005)

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Bücherliste 2018

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Jodi Picoult, Small Great Things

Wenn mir nicht der neue Stephen King dazwischen gekommen wäre, hätte ich wohl mittlerweile einen weiteren Band von Picoult durch. Nach drei Büchern, die mich alle begeisterten, kann ich mir kaum noch vorstellen, dass mir eins nicht gefällt. Auch dieses hier war wieder packend, anrührend und stimmte sehr nachdenklich. Und traurig, trotz des guten Endes. Es ist noch nicht vorbei mit der Diskriminierung und Benachteiligung. Und wird es noch sehr, sehr lange nicht sein.

How often do you remind yourself how lucky you are that you own your house, because you were able to build up equity through generations in a way families of color can't? How often do you open your mouth at work and think how awesome it is that no one's thinking you're speaking for everyone with the same skin color you have? How hard it is for you to find a greeting card for your baby's birthday with a picture of a child that has the same color skin as her? How many times have you seen a painting of Jesus that looks like you?
.
I tell them this: the part of the brain, physiologically, that allows us to blame everything on people we do not really know is the same part of the brain that allows us to have compassion for strangers. Yes, the Nazis made the Jews the scapegoats, to the point of near extinction. But that same bit of tissue in the mind is what led others to send money and supplies and relief, even when they were half a world away.
.
(Aus der Author's note)
I knew that I wanted to write from the point of view of a Black nurse, a skinhead father, and a public defender - a woman who, like me, and like many of my readers, was a well-intentioned white lady who would never consider herself to be racist. Suddenly I knew that I could, and would, finish this novel. Unlike my first, aborted foray, I wasn't writing it to tell people of color what their own lives were like. I was writing to my own community - white people - who can very easily point to a neo-Nazi skinhead and say he's a racist… but who can't recognize racism in themselves.
.
Just as racism creates disadvantages for people of color that make success harder to achieve, it also gives advantages to white people that make success easier to achieve. It's hard to see those advantages, much less own up to them. And that, I realized, was why I had to write this book. When it comes to social justice, the role of the white ally is not to be savior or a fixer. Instead, the role of the ally is to find other white people and talk to make them see that many of the benefits they've enjoyed in life are direct results of the fact that someone else did not have the same benefits.

(Jodi Picoult, Small Great Things, 2015)

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Bücherliste 2018

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Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time

Noch so ein Buch, das mich einfach nicht losließ. Ganz abgesehen von dem Killer Twist (Jodi Picoults eigene Worte) am Ende, der The Sixth Sense noch einiges draufsetzt, ist der ganze Handlungsstrang mit den Elefanten einfach nur faszinierend - das ganze geballte Wissen und wie sie so nahtlos in dieses ungewöhnliche Familiendrama oder besser -Krimi eingefügt werden. So wünsche ich mir Bücher. Und die angehängte Kurzgeschichte 'Larger than Life', die ich jetzt nicht separat listen wollte, rundete das Buch noch einmal ganz besonders ab.
.
.
The only supernatural power at work here is the ability of the average person to find meaning in random details. We are a race that sees the Virgin Mary in the cut stump of a tree, that can find God in the twist of a rainbow, that hears Paulisdead when a Beatles song is played backward. The same intricate human mind that makes sense of the nonsensical is the human mind that can believe a fake psychic.
.
I wonder if, as you get older, you stop missing people so fiercely. Maybe growing up is just focusing on what you've got, instead of what you don't.
.
He shrugged. "I think grief is like a really ugly couch. It never goes away. You can decorate around it; you can slap a doily on top of it; you can push it to the corner of the room - but eventually, you learn to live with it."
Somehow, I thought, elephants had taken it a step further. They didn't grimace every time they entered the room and saw that couch. They said, Remember how many good memories we had here? And they sat, for just a little while, before moving elsewhere.
.
She sighs. "Desmond and Lucinda, my spirit guides, said all the universe wants from us is two things: Don't do any intentional harm to yourself or anyone else, and get happy. They told me humans make it more complicated than it needs to be. I thought for sure they were feeding me a line. I mean, there's got to be more to it than that. But if there is, I guess I'm not supposed to know it yet."
.
I could click on these links all day long. And by the time I was done, there would be hundreds more. There are an endless number of people who have left a love-shaped hole in the heart of someone else. Eventually someone brave and stupid will come along and try to fill that hole. But it never works, and so instead, that selfless soul winds up with a gap in his heart too. And so on. It's a miracle that anyone survives, when so much of us is missing.

(Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time, 2014)

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Bücherliste 2018

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Jodi Picoult, The Storyteller

Die Autorin wurde mir von der gleichen Chatfreundin empfohlen, die mir "Jeder stirbt für sich allein" ans Herz gelegt hatte, und jetzt sieht es so aus, als hätte ich eine vielversprechende neue Autorin für mich entdeckt (wenn bloß 'My Sister's Keeper' nicht so teuer wäre ...) Ich konnte mich kaum von der Story losreißen, wenngleich ich im Nachhinein gerne noch etwas mehr von Sage gelesen hätte. Und der Trauergruppe, die nur im ersten Teil erwähnt wird.

There are all sorts of losses people suffer - from the small to the large. You can lose your keys, your glasses, your virginity. You can lose your head, you can lose your heart, you can lose your mind. You can relinquish your home to move into assisted living, or have a child move overseas, or see a spouse vanish into dementia. Loss is more than just death, and grief is the gray shape-shifter of emotion.

Marge lets his silence stand; an offering on a pedestal. I know this is because some people come here to talk, while others come to just listen. But the lack of sound pounds like a heartbeat. It's deafening.
That's the paradox of loss: How can something that's gone weigh us down so much?

In one leather satchel, slipped into a torn silk lining, was a fountain pen.
My hand closed around it with an ache. Holding a pen felt so normal that my past, which I had surgically separated from the current state of my existence, came rushing back. I could see myself curled in the window of my father's bakery, writing my book. I could remember chewing on the tip of a pen as I heard the dialogue of Ania and Aleksander in my head. The story flowed like blood from my hand; sometimes it seemed that I was simply channeling a film that was already playing, that I was only the projector instead of the creator. When I wrote I felt untethered, impossibly free. And right now, I barely remembered what that was like.

Fiction comes in all shapes and sizes. Secrets, lies, stories. We all tell them. Sometimes, because we hope to entertain. Sometimes, because we need to distract.
And sometimes, because we have to.

(Jodi Picoult, The Storyteller, 2013)

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Gesammelte erste Sätze

On the second Thursday of the month, Mrs. Dombrowski brings her dead husband to our therapy group.

(Jodi Picoult, The Storyteller, 2013)

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