Cloud Cuckoo Land – Anthony Doerr

Simply put – this is a great book, highly imaginative with a clever storyline and beautiful writing. Imagine three timelines: the past (15th century Constantinople), present (a library in Idaho), and future (an interstellar spaceship). These three timelines are linked by an ancient Greek tale about Aethon by Diogenes. The result is a soaring story about children who find resilience. A final positive comment: this book reminded me of the best of David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks), which is high praise.

About Grace by Anthony Doerr

David has dreams that are premonitions of disasters, but the timing of the upcoming disaster is mysterious. He has a dream that his newborn daughter will drown in his arms during a flood, so he flees and the rest of his life is a train wreck. Very fine writing, especially contrasting life in the Caribbean and in Alaska. The view of the physical world (snow, insects, clouds, etc) is exceptional.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

As an aside, I have a goal of NOT reading any more WWII novels, but this book was recommended highly by a reading buddy in Ottawa, and I am very glad to have read this compelling story. The key feature is that the book is written from the perspective of two children and then young adults. There are two intersecting story lines: Marie-Laure in France and Werner in Germany. Werner’s decision to join the German army produces conflicted emotions. And the chaos of war is accentuated for Marie-Laure because she is blind and thus especially vulnerable. This is a very good read.