Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Sunday Book Review, October 2, 2011: Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Madame L carefully selected a few books to take on her latest vacation, and then, as always, stopped at the Powell's Books stall at PDX and bought two more. 

(Madame L has never regretted these spur-of-the-moment, impulse PDX book buys. She justifies her purchases by reminding herself that she only buys books from the "Sale" counters, so they cost only six to eight dollars, and there's no sales tax --- ha!)

Madame L read one of those books on the plane: "Behind the Scenes at the Museum," by Kate Atkinson (available at for $10.88 --- plus tax! --- ha ha!). 

Also available from is a Kindle "summary and study guide" and a "Continuum Contemporaries" paperback "study guide," which Madame L guesses means this book is popular with reading groups and/or is regularly assigned in high school and/or college literature classes.

One of the books Madame L was already carrying on this trip was another Atkinson book, "One Good Turn" (available in paperback from for $11.25 --- plus tax! --- but Madame L bought it at her local Borders store closeout sale for half that --- ha ha ha!). Madame L read that book on the flight home. 

Oh, did you, Dear Reader, want to know more about the books than their prices and when and where Madame L got around to reading them? 

They're both so good they'll blow your socks off. You'll read them even though you already had other books you were planning to read. You'll puzzle over the realistic yet poetic connections between the characters, the near-hits and complete missteps of their lives, their all-too-human and personalities, the complex interweaving of luck and history, and the surprise endings: surprises more to the characters than to you, the reader, drawn in as you are by the author's brilliant story-telling. 

If you promise to read it, Madame L will send you her own copy. Let her know by sending an email to "ellemadame {at}" 

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