Bedside table: the writer Anthony Doerr does it again

Cover courtesy of Simon & Schuster

“I borrowed ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ from my local library because I had read the previous novel ‘All The Light We Cannot See’, by the same author, Anthony Doerr, which I thoroughly enjoyed.” Cloud Cuckoo Land has several storylines, including a dystopian future, a genre of historical fiction from medieval Constantinople, and a present-day story dealing with disability and poverty. The individual chapters are quick reads, and the stories all revolve around an ancient Greek tale that was written for the storyteller’s sick niece.The premise of the ancient Greek tale is so far-fetched that it distracted the niece (and several others through the ages) from her illness, reminding us all how captivating a good story can be.

“With over 600 pages, I was initially afraid of not finishing it in the three weeks allotted to me and, being a book in great demand, of not being able to renew it. Instead, I found myself finishing the novel too quickly, when I was away for the weekend with no back-up book to read! Luckily it was such a good book that I started it again, which is helpful with a book that tells so many different stories.

“The book had many enjoyable moments, especially when a group of 5th graders wanted to perform the ancient Greek tale with their 86-year-old mentor who had translated the story from Greek to English. Also special is the initial dedication of the book to the librarians and the splendid way the librarians perform in “Cloud Cuckoo Land” while presenting books to the other characters. Doerr makes the poignant point that once a book is lost (and this was especially true in ancient and medieval times), it is gone forever. —MARY MARSHALL, York

Mainers, please email us to tell us about the book on your bedside table right now. In a paragraph or two, describe the book and be sure to tell us what attracted you. We want to know what you are reading and why. Send your selection to [email protected]and we may use it as a future bedside table.

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