Cover courtesy of Simon & Schuster

“I borrowed ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ from my local library because I had read the previous novel ‘All The Light We Cannot See,’ by the same author, Anthony Doerr, which I enjoyed immensely. ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ has multiple storylines including a dystopian future, an historical fiction genre from medieval-era Constantinople and a current-times story dealing with disability and poverty. The individual chapters are quick reads, and the stories all revolve around an ancient Greek tale that was written for the tale-teller’s ailing niece. The premise of the ancient Greek tale is so farcical that it distracted the niece (and several others through the ages) from her illness, reminding us all how engrossing a good story can be.

“At 600+ pages, I was worried at first that I would not finish it in my three allotted weeks and being a highly requested book, that I would not be able to renew it. Instead I found myself finishing the novel too quickly, while away for the weekend with no backup book to read! Fortunately, it was such a good book that I started it over again, which is helpful with a book that tells so many different stories.

“The book had many sweet moments, especially when a group of 5th-graders wants to perform the ancient Greek tale with their 86-year-old mentor who had translated the story from Greek to English. Also special is the book’s initial dedication to librarians and the splendid way the librarians star in ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ while introducing books to the other characters. Doerr makes the poignant point that once a book is lost (and this was particularly true in ancient and medieval times), it is gone forever.” — MARY MARSHALL, York


Mainers, please email to tell us about the book on your bedside table right now. In a paragraph or two, describe the book and be sure to tell us what drew you to it. We want to hear what you are reading and why. Send your selection to [email protected], and we may use it as a future Bedside Table.


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