Friday, May 26, 2017


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the works they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino, and join in the fun. This blog hop is hosted by The Armchair SquidClick on the link to sign up to join us.

The best book that I finished this month is State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.

State of Wonder begins: The news of Anders Eckman's death came by way of Aerogram, a piece of bright blue airmail paper that served as both the stationery and, when folded over and sealed along the edges, the envelope.

Anders Eckman's research partner, Dr. Marina Singh, receives this news at the pharmacological company in Minnesota where the two researchers shared a lab for seven years. Eckman died when the company sent him to Brazil to find Dr. Annick Swenson, the leader of a research project funded by the company.  Dr. Swenson has long held a prominent position in Dr. Singh's memory as the professor whose criticism ended Dr. Singh's medical career.

Now Marina Singh departs for the Amazon to learn where Anders is buried and to tell Dr. Swenson that she must end her research, which has gone on far too long. Soon, Marina finds herself in a state of wonder, where she befriends a deaf boy named Easter and discovers a world quite different from any she has encountered before:

Easter and Marina liked the river best at six o'clock when the sun was spreading out long across the water and the birds had just begun to make their way home for the night. They sat on the damp banks, as far away as they could from the heat of the Lakashi's fire. It was too early to eat and still she wanted to leave the lab for a while, stretch her legs and roll her neck. Sometimes she would sit for twenty minutes, thirty minutes, and other nights she would stay until it was dark. 

In this state of wonder, Marina encounters poisonous insects, rescues Easter from the grasp of an anaconda by using her medical training, delivers a baby, deals with the Dr. Swenson of the present and the past, and learns the truth behind Dr. Swenson's mysterious research with the women of the Lakashi tribe.

Ann Patchett writes so beautifully that I almost couldn't bear to put down this book and deal with my own dull life. I was much happier in the jungle with Marina Singh.

State of Wonder earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest Truth And Beauty Approval.

Happy reading!

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


  1. I always welcome book reviews that are detailed enough to help me decide if a book is likely to please me, so thank you for this excellent review.

  2. Sounds enticing!! Put it on my library list. :)

    1. I love Ann Patchett. My favorites are this one and Bel Canto.

  3. This sounds interesting. Tell me it has a happy ending!

  4. I love those books that allow you to escape into another world for a while :)

  5. I bought the last Ann Patchett book you recommended -- The Magician's Assistant. It's right here by my computer, waiting to be read!

    1. Do you ever read everything in your TBR pile and say, Damn, I have nothing to read? I don't.

  6. Sounds like a lovely book. :-)


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