Literary Blog Hop

Friday, November 05, 2010

A new blog hop is being hosted this week by The Blue Bookcase that I think is right up my alley. This blog hop is for "literary" blogs, or in other words, blogs that focus on the aesthetic quality of a work as well as the narrative quality. While I do review the odd fantasy novel here and there, in general my enjoyment of a book is directly related to its aesthetic value, so I would say The Story Girl would qualify.

This week's prompt is:
Please highlight one of your favorite books and why you would consider it "literary."

My favorite book of all time is Kartography by Kamila Shamsie. The book has two stories in counterpoint - one, the story of two engaged couples who begin the civil war of 1971 engaged to one person and finish it engaged to the other, and two, the friendship of their children, Raheen and Karim, and the way their relationship is tested by the still ongoing ramifications of that war and their parents' choices during that war.

This book isn't very well known. The only people I know who have read it did so at my recommendation. However, I think this is definitely an example of a literary novel. The beauty of the writing is indisputable. Here is an example of a passage I love:

'Jake came to stand beside me as I gently squeezed the ink cartridge and a rain drop turned blue.

'"You really have this ability to find beauty in weird places."

'There was a tone of reconciliation in his voice, but when he had said it was over between us my heart had lurched ever so slightly, and if we were to stay together now perhaps it would lurch even more next week, next month, or whenever that inevitable ending came.' (p. 108) (And no worries, this is not a spoiler. Jake is not a significant character).

Another reason I think Kartography is literary is because the story is focused on the relationships between the characters. They must learn to forgive, accept, and love despite their frailties, betrayals, and mistakes. I think this novel portrays the real way relationships work, with their flaws and complexity, rather than dropping the story at happily ever after.

I hope this qualifies as a literary blog. I have had a harder time finding literary blogs, as it seems that there are abundant paranormal romance blogs, so I look forward to finding great blogs to read through this hop.


  1. Thanks for joining in on the hop! I think you certainly qualify! And even some fantasy novels can be literary as well.

    That was the reason that we started the hop -- when we participated in non-genre specific hops, we found that few, if any, of the blogs had similar book interests as us. I hope you find some that you like on the hop!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I am glad I found your blog through this hop. You make a good case for this book. I am happy to learn about it.

    Rose City Reader.

  3. I love reading about books that I've never heard of. This definitely sounds like something I would like to read. I love the new blog hop, and I'm glad I was able to find your blog though participating!

  4. I've never heard of this book until just now. It looks really good though and I'm wondering if my library has a copy. Love the quotes you posted, and I'm a sucker for books with great writing :)

  5. This book sounds wonderful! It's gone on my to-read list, hopefully I can get a copy from my local library system.

    I'm now following your blog, looking forward to reading more of your reviews :)

    Sam at Tiny Library

  6. I also have not heard of this book, but I'm writing it down on my list right now. The way you write about it makes me want to read it.

  7. Thanks for introducing me to a new book/author. This sounds like a good one!

  8. I came by via the new Literary Blog Hop. I assure you that yours is a literary blog. I've visited many, many blogs. Yours is definitely in the literary blog category.

    I like your blog. I am a follower. I hope to stop by again soon.

  9. I'm a little slow making my way through the blog hop list, but I'm getting there and still enjoying myself immensely! Nice blog!


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