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Thursday, January 14, 2010

When We Were Romans

My lovely readers, you always have great book recommendations, so I wanted to share one of my own. I've been reading the amazing When We Were Romans by British author Matthew Kneale.

The tale is narrated by a nine-year-old boy, whose mother abruptly moves him and his sister from England to Rome when she becomes convinced that his estranged father is spying on them, turning the neighbors against them and trying to hurt them. As their adventure turns more madcap, you start realizing that things may not be quite what they seem. The little boy has such a sweet, authentic voice and your heart swells for him; the whole story is told with misspellings and run-on sentences. (He also loves talking about the universe and crazy Roman emperors.) It's one of those books you can't put down; at bedtime, I'm always fighting to keep my eyes open...

If you liked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, you'll adore this book. xoxo

(Photo by Faceout Books)

77 comments:

Keri said...

I love hearing about what other people are reading. This sounds great I am going to add it to my list of 10 books Im trying to read for by 101 in 1001.

Keri
http://inspire-keri.blogspot.com/

Melissa Blake said...

great suggestion! I've been looking for a new book to read! xoxo

Alaina @ Live Creating Yourself said...

I had to read the Curious Incident for a psych class in college and loved it. I'll have to check this one out. Thanks!

Alaina

Joanna Goddard said...

WOW, keri! so impressive!

abigail said...

I've been looking for a good book, and this sounds great!
I'm going to stop at the library on my way home.

Dennise said...

Joanna, I just got the History of Love from the library, I can't wait to start reading it! Thanks for the recommendation! xo

Meaghan Clark said...

thank you! I just finished a few of my long to-do books so this sounds like it'd be a nice treat!

Joanna Goddard said...

oh, dennise, you're going to LOVE it! i'm so jealous that you get to read it for the first time :)

Anonymous said...

im going to pick this up at the library this weekend. thx for the rec!

The Boob Nazi said...

I loved The Curious Incident......
I might have to check this out.
However, do the run-on sentences and misspellings distract from the book at all?

Post Grad Hair Cut said...

Sounds great! You should read The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon.

Geezees Custom Canvas Art said...

Sounds fascinating...thanks for the suggestion!!

Rambling Tart said...

This sounds like a splendid story! :-) I'm reserving at the library now :-)

Alina said...

It's funny, as I was reading your review of the book it was reminding me of one of my favorite books - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - haha!

Thanks for the recommendation, I needed a good book : )

alina
www.alinasdaydream.com
www.dreamingchic.blogspot.com

pen.ny said...

Big fan of Curious Incident. Have added this to my list to buy:)
Thanks for the suggestion. I also fight myself to keep my eyes open at night with a good book.

Two Bloggers said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I just finished "The Girl Who Played with Fire" and it was great.

Joanna Goddard said...

the boob nazi, not at all -- you get really used to it. it flows really easily, like someone is talking to you. it's REALLY sweet.

La chica said...

I feel curious about the book, I will try to find it.

Blue Is Bleu said...

I've been so busy that my bedtime reading's been eliminated... I'll have to reinstate it because I want to read this book! Sounds very lovely indeed :)

Modern Traditionalist said...

Sounds like a great story! I will definitely check it out.

I am Stacey... said...

That sounds fantastic! I'm adding it to my list right now :)

Still Here said...

Thank you Joanna! I absolutely loved "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time", so I went right to my library site and requested it!

Joanna said...

I'm always looking for book recommendations. I really enjoyed "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" and this one sounds just as interesting. Great cover, as well. Thanks!

My goal for 2010 is to read 50 books. Already have one book down, 49 more to go. Impossible? I think (hope!) not...

Cynthia said...

Sounds great, thanks for the recommendation!

colleen @inspiredtoshare said...

I LOVED The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time!! Thanks for the recommendation! xo

HereBeDragons said...

I did enjoy "The Curious Incident..." but not sure I want to read the same type of book again. Oh wait! I already did. I think it was called Incredibly Large and Super Close. Or Amazingly Large and Incredibly Close. Hmm. Can't remember.

Chelsea said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I might have to add this one to the pile of books I want to get around to read.

Mandy said...

"The Curious Incident..." was a fabulous book. Thanks for the suggestion!! *Runs off to Amazon*

Enchanted Royals said...

Along similar lines, I just reread Extremely Loud and Incredibly close for a book club, which is also from the point of view of a young boy. I'm sure you've read it, but I highly recommend it if not!

graceful nichole said...

LOVED Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, so I will definitely pick this up! Thank you!
Also LOVED Up in the Air...so unexpected, and so good.

I'm reading the Sookie Stackhouse series...a little escape every evening to help with the lapse between True Blood series.

Have you read, The Road?
SOOOo good.

Lauren B said...

I JUST finished reading Dog In The Nighttime, and I loved it, so thanks for the recommendation- this is going on my list!

Maimoona said...

So excited to check out this book!!! I love it when a book is so good you can't go to bed at night. Hasn't happened in a while so a good book is much needed.

P.S. Curious Incident was definitely a can't put this down book.

Anna Walker said...

I so Loved the Curious Incidient of the Dog at Night-Time! i will have to give this one a read!

-Anna
http://annawalker1992.blogspot.com/

flip flops on lex said...

This book was one of my favorites from last year.

flipflopsonlex.blogspot.com

{lovely little things} said...

I always love a new book recommendation!

the darling house said...

this book sounds lovely. I'll be picking it up tomorrow.

craftysunday said...

Thank you for the recommendation! I, like many others who commented, loved "The Curious Incident..."

I think I recommended this before but I love "Born on a Blue Day", by Daniel Tammet. It's an autobiographical account of living with Asperger's syndrome...he's super-fascinating! I also just read "The Lovely Bones", and it was every bit as good as everyone had said it is (I'm in library school and HAD to read it...so glad I did!).

Cheers,
mindi

ariane said...

Post Grad Hair Cut is right- Shadow of the Wind is amazing. I work in a bookstore and the best part is being able to read whatever I want. I recently read The Sweetness at the bottom of the Pie, which is rapidly gaining in popularity, and it's amazing. The heroine is a fiery 11 year old alchemist. It's told from her perspective. You should give it a try.

aerussell said...

Sounds like such a lovely book! I love Rome and so love to read just about anything written about or set in Rome or Italy. This is certainly going on my "To read" list.
Thank you!

Jen said...

I was getting excited to check out this book until you mentioned the two dreaded words of death: "misspellings" and "run-on sentences." I could deal with the run-ons, but definitely not with the misspellings! I'm a writer!

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Rachel Eastin said...

This looks great! I will read it. And I love the cover.

Rachael said...

Thank you! I was regretting not giving you a good suggestion when you asked a couple weeks ago. But no one has recommended this, and I haven't even noticed it in a store yet.

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jane said...

picked this up at the library on saturday + finished it tonight! thanks for the recommendation. i loved it!

Miss said...

Thanks for the suggestion...it was a great quick read!

And if you liked this book, you'll LOVE "Asta in the Wings" by
Jan Elizabeth Watson.

"When Autumn Leaves" by Amy Foster was great too.

Elsa May said...

Thanks for the tip - have just finished it! It was really charming, and I was blown away by the ability of the author to narrate as a nine-year old. And thank goodness nothing happened to the children in the end! :)

rachel said...

Hey...I just finished when we were romans.....I really liked it.....I knew the Mom was a bit crazy, but didn't really realize it until she hid knifes under her son's pillows and blamed it on the Dad...I was just as shocked as the boy. I'm going to start reading English Passengers by Matthew Kneale. I hope it's good, I know it's not narrated by a little boy.... (I really love when children narrate books) I am also reading the Elegance of the Hedgehog....I like it so far..Oh and Gourmet Rhapsody is fun....You would love the description of food.

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Naomi said...

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You May Be Wandering said...

Hi Joanna -

I loved "When We Were Romans"! I actually had forgotten about it until I saw your post. I just started a travel blog (inspired a lot by your blog - the first blog I ever read a few years ago)and I may have to read it again.

I just finished "Gone Girl" - I literally could not put it down.

I love all your posts - Toby is a doll!!

Sandy

Stella said...

your blog comments are getting majorly spammed!! so annoying (for you!)

anyway, I just put "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" on request at the library. My mom highly recommended it! It's about an 11-year-old girl in the 1950s who tries to solve a mystery.

Alison said...

Hi Joanna!

You mentioned the BFG -which I love too- and I want to recommend Roald Dahl's memoir named Boy. It's so wonderful and heartwarming. He writes about his youth and his hatred of boarding schools, writing letters to his mother -the sweetest!- and the inspiration for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And the way he describes his idealistic summers spent with his family in Norway... I only wish I could have been there.

While Boy covers his youth, his memoir called War covers his young adult life. It's also great and full of his real life adventures.

Looking forward to When We Were Romans. I loved The Curious Incident and this book sounds like my kind of read.

Thanks again!
Alison

Debs said...

Funny -- I just started Curious Incident. I find it refreshing.

Can I plug my book club? I have no affiliation but I found this book swap a few years ago and it has literally (pun intended) saved my hundreds of dollars (and thousands of trees)! I have been dying to get a Kindle but just cannot justify it when I can get great books for just the cost of shipping.

http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php

The also have a CD swap as well as a DVD swap too.

Leah said...

I love using the GoodReads.com website and the iphone app to keep track of books to read in the future when I hear about them, books my friends are reading, and to help me remember what I've already read when I need to recommend.

skyebluelake said...

Loved "Curious Incident." Here's a fun summer book about Ted Williams returning to life, "Extra Innings" by Bruce E. Spitzer. Cryonics brought him back to life in 2092. Once again Williams plays for the Red Sox, yet the best part resonates with a redemptive theme: Given a second chance, what would any of us do diffently?

Gwen said...

I just finished reading Girl Gone by Gillian Flynn. It was a very good suspense book. Not something I'd normally choose but a nice change of pace and a good Summer read.

Stacey said...

If you liked Cooking for Mr Latte, I think you'd like Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard: A Love Story, with recipes. :) highly recommended, and the recipes that I've tried from it are delicious.

Rapunzel said...

I had never heard of someone else loving "Cooking for Mr Latte"! I loved it, too, and "The Glass Castle."

So...you might like other favorites of mine...

"The Magician's Assistant"
"Where the Heart Is"
"Prodigal Summer" & "The Poisonwood Bible"
"Fall on Your Knees"
The Griffin & Sabine Series (older, but magical)

Thanks for your blog, and enjoy!

tomandemma said...

You should join Good Reads - it's free and is a social network of book reviews. It's so good.

I've just finished Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet, which was fantastic. It's a YA book but so rich with detail and wonderful.

I always recommend The Hut Builder and The Forrests too but they're New Zealand-written books so might be harder to find.

I can also vouch for The Night Circus - great but with one of the world's worst-ever most cringeful sex scenes.

helencounters said...

always love recommendations! i'll put these on my goodreads list. my faves of the last year have been:

somewhere inside (by the ling sisters)
hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet
major pettigrew's last stand
sense of an ending
the forgotten garden

i saw a few others recommended shadow of the wind. enjoyed that one, too!

Lauren in LA said...

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Craig Thompson's graphic novels Habibi and Blankets are highly recommended. They'll change your life.

Kate Boren said...

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