Thursday, April 7, 2011

Weekend Read: Water for Elephants and Effortless Style

Water for Elephants Film Still. Robert Pattinson. Image Source.
Sometimes the only benefit of being an early riser is that you have time to discover amazing books. After hearing all the glowing reviews of Water for Elephants, written by Sara Gruen, I had to pick up a copy. I vaguely knew that it was turning into a movie and I can't deny that after seeing the film stills that it looks absolutely fabulous, too. 
Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. Image Source.
Water for Elephants published in 2006. Although, it wasn't Sara Gruen's first novel, it was the book that brought her to immediate fame. The book leapt to New York Times #1 bestseller and has sold over 3 million copies. So I'm not the only one to adore this book. Let's get to the plot of things:

BOOK SUMMARY: With its spotlight on elephants, Gruen's romantic page-turner hinges on the human-animal bonds that drove her debut and its sequel (Riding Lessons and Flying Changes)—but without the mass appeal that horses hold. The novel, told in flashback by nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski, recounts the wild and wonderful period he spent with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a traveling circus he joined during the Great Depression. When 23-year-old Jankowski learns that his parents have been killed in a car crash, leaving him penniless, he drops out of Cornell veterinary school and parlays his expertise with animals into a job with the circus, where he cares for a menagerie of exotic creatures[...] He also falls in love with Marlena, one of the show's star performers—a romance complicated by Marlena's husband, the unbalanced, sadistic circus boss who beats both his wife and the animals Jankowski cares for. Despite her often clichéd prose and the predictability of the story's ending, Gruen skillfully humanizes the midgets, drunks, rubes and freaks who populate her book. 
Author Sara Gruen

Sara Gruen came to the States from Canada in order to work as a technical writer. Two years later, she was laid off and without work. She had that zany idea that perhaps she should write a novel. The rest is history. Amazing history, once it sold to Hollywood and landed Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. However, toss the movie aside. The first hundred pages have been a luxurious treat not just in terms of plot construction, but in language. The prose is crisp, vivid, and enigmatic. The ambiance and mood is pushing toward a love story that is going to have depth and resonant with the heart. The character Jacob Janowski is someone to love, even with his faults and short-comings. If you've been like me, putting the book aside. Don't delay in reading it. If anything, read this book instead of seeing the movie. I can promise that you won't be disappointed.

Water for Elephants
Blog Reads: Effortless Style 

In keeping with an elephant theme, I found a great old post on elephant envy at Effortless Style. Say that sentence three times fast!

Effortless Style is a sweet weekend blog read!

Effortless Style is winning combination of husband and wife, Jon and Camilla. Their about page is totally fabulous and lists sweet tidbits like in 2005 they bought their first decorative piece, an elephant. Together they offer interior design services that have been covered by HGTV, Apartment Therapy, Casa Sugar, and more. The website is a sweet venture in style and humor. A great weekend read!

Elephant Envy at Effortless Style

One last shot of Water for Elephants! I can't wait to finish this book and then see the movie!

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