Thursday, April 2, 2015


The oldest word nerd notebook is at the office and I'm not, so we're taking just a little hop back to 2013 for this week's installment. Way back in 2013, my friend Pop Culture Nerd raved about Lisa O'Donnell's The Death of Bees, and boy was she right on (it was her selection for the January 2013 edition of the Nerdy Special List). The cover of this one would have won me over even without the recommendation from a friend. Stunning work.

Indiebound says: "Written with fierce sympathy and beautiful precision, told in alternating voices, The Death of Bees is an enchanting, grimly comic tale of three lost souls who, unable to answer for themselves, can answer only for one another."

The following is one of my favorite passages. Short, but cutting:

  • I'm never getting a tattoo. My secrets are etched safely on the inside and I intend to keep them there.


Pop Culture Nerd said...

I still think about this book sometimes. Those characters really resonated with me (as did the kid from O'Donnell's follow-up, CLOSED DOORS). I'm so glad you read it because we could discuss it. Thanks for the link!

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

I'm glad you "pestered" me to read both of them, she does have a knack for creating unforgettable characters.

Pop Culture Nerd said...

Well, you know I get annoyed easily so I'd only pester you about something really good!

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

That's why I always listen up.

Julianne - Outlandish Lit said...

I've never heard of this book, but that line is SO GOOD.

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

Here I go stepping out on that limb, but I really think you'd like BEES. Lisa O'Donnell in general, actually, CLOSED DOORS was also very good.

Julianne - Outlandish Lit said...

haha it does sound really good. looked it up on goodreads too (sorry, not riffle). The blurb compared it to Swamplandia! so I'm like already in haha. I'll trust you. Adding it to the TBR.

Malcolm Avenue Review said...

Ha! I don't look things up on R, either, just use for tracking purposes. That's a very interesting comparison since I didn't get 50 pages into Swamplandia! That's always bothered me, though, so maybe I'll have to try again.

About Malcolm Avenue Review

I was lucky enough to be born and raised in a nifty, oak-shaded ranch house on Malcolm Avenue, a wide-laned residential street with little through traffic, located amid the foothills of Northern California. It was on that street and in that house I learned most of my adolescent life lessons, and many grown-up ones to boot. Malcolm Avenue was "home" for more than thirty years.

It was on Malcolm Avenue, through and with my family and the other families that made up our neighborhood of characters, that I first learned about and gained an appreciation for the things I continue to love the most to this day: music, animals, photography, sports, television/movies and, of course, books.

I owe a debt of gratitude to that life on Malcolm Avenue. It gave me a sense of community and friendship, support and adventure. For better and worse, life on that street likely had the biggest impact on the person I've become. So this blog, and the things I write here, are all, at their base level, a little bit of a love letter to Malcolm Avenue.


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