Mini- Review: Smilla's Sense of Snow

Smilla's Sense of SnowSmilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publisher: Delta
Published: 1992/ 1995 (in English)
Synopsis (via goodreads.com):

She thinks more highly of snow and ice than she does of love.  She lives in a world of numbers, science and memories--a dark, exotic stranger in a strange land.  And now Smilla Jaspersen is convinced she has uncovered a shattering crime...

It happened in the Copenhagen snow.  A six-year-old boy, a Greenlander like Smilla, fell to his death from the top of his apartment building.  While the boy's body is still warm, the police pronounce his death an accident.  But Smilla knows her young neighbor didn't fall from the roof on his own.  Soon she is following a path of clues as clear to her as footsteps in the snow.  For her dead neighbor, and for herself, she must embark on a harrowing journey of lies, revelation and violence that will take her back to the world of ice and snow from which she comes, where an explosive secret waits beneath the ice....

This is a very dense book, with a complicated protagonist as the narrator. Right from the beginning there's ample descriptions not only of snow, but math, science, tankers, yadda yadda, and I kept wondering why anyone would want to make this into a movie (1997).


Stephen King's 11/22/63 - Review

Title: 11/22/63
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner
Published: November 2011
Genre(s): historical fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, romance
Synopsis (via goodreads.com):  

Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away...but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful. 
This book is amazing on so many levels. My new fave genre-mash is historical fiction + sci-fi/ fantasy.

For those that were old enough to know what happened on 11/22/63, the assassination of JFK is still a raw wound 53 years later.  For those of us born afterwards, as the narrator Jake Epping notes, it’s merely a date in history to memorize and regurgitate on a test. Those who lived during those [Cold War] years, like my mother, still remember the daily fear they felt and the sirens and practice drills (i.e. running home really fast) for the possible “Russian missiles,” even in Calgary, Canada!!