Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What is Lela Nargi reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Lela Nargi, author of the new children’s book, The Honeybee Man.

Her entry begins:
I’m in that weird holding pattern between books – wanting to read but not able to find just the right thing. Sometimes, this has to do with the fact that I’m in the process of writing a book or an essay and I’m purposefully not reading – I’ve found, to my horror, that I accidentally steal ideas, phrases, voices and not reading ensures that I stay honest. But at the moment, I’m just plain uninspired by the books I’ve got lying around.

Someone recently gave me a novel they thought I’d like, but I lost interest after a few pages. Novels are tricky. Those I enjoy are few and far between and usually not contemporary: Salinger’s Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters (which I’m actually thinking of picking up again – maybe this afternoon, it’s raining here in Brooklyn, perfect Salinger weather); The Moviegoer, Walker Percy’s first (and somewhat imperfect) first novel; T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, which I absolutely cannot wait to read to my daughter, once she’s old enough to be patient for the endless riveting descriptions of falconry and knightly arms and other arcana; Lolita of course. I don’t like to read just for reading’s sake; I don’t enjoy quick, simple reads to pass the time. I want to...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Honeybee Man:
"This is wonderful 'realistic fiction' in a picture book format. Readers enjoy the story of Fred, who lives with Cooper his dog and Cat his cat in a brownstone in Brooklyn. Each morning after breakfast, Fred climbs a ladder to the rooftop where Fred “greets the rest of his family,” the queens and all the bees who live in the three hives on the rooftop.... Nargi captures the reader’s imagination as Fred pictures himself as a honeybee, swooping into the backyard gardens and parks around the borough. She weaves facts about honeybees into the story, naturally, using terms that may be new to younger reader, but are easy to decode in context...."
--Dawn, Too Fond of Books

"Nargi's descriptive language is filled with smell and sound and sight, carrying readers right up to that rooftop with Fred, while seamlessly interweaving detailed information about beekeeping.... Eccentric and unusual with an appealing, gentle charm."
--Kirkus (starred review)

"The language in this book is lovely and evocative. It is a book that creates small moments of celebrations."
--Tasha Saecker
Lela Nargi lives in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and Jaffa. She writes about food, knitting, and kids. Her new book for children is The Honeybee Man.

Visit Lela Nargi's website and blog.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Lela Nargi and Jaffa.

Writers Read: Lela Nargi.

--Marshal Zeringue