Let’s read books!
Here’s a quick look at the books I’ve been curling up on the couch with. Well, curling up with these, a big grey cat, and a hot mug of Earl Grey tea.
The Distant Marvels by Chantel Acevedo. A hurricane roars towards Cuba. The elderly are gathered and placed in a locked room on an upper floor in a historical hacienda. They tell stories of their lives, listening intensely as the storm rages outside. Highly recommended.
“I’ve seen it before, what mothers and daughters can do to one another during those terrible adolescent years. Grief must be at the bottom of it, for what is sadder for a parent than seeing her daughter shedding girlhood drop by precious drop? And what is more terrifying for a child than to doubt her mother, to begin to see her has a human with faults instead of as a goddess?” – page. 164
The Incarnations by Susan Barker. After I had a root canal, I took my well Novacained & puffy-cheeked self to the bookstore. This was recommended by a staff member, and does not disappoint. Fascinating weaving of Chinese history and contemporary Beijing wrapped in a cloud of soul mate mystery.
Paris At The End Of The World: The City Of Light During The Great War 1914-1918 by John Baxter. This historical non-fiction was on the bargain table during that Novocaine-induced spending spree. (My vices: books, clothes, and really good food.) What sets this apart, however, is the weaving of the story of the author’s great-grandfather with that of others who lived in Paris at this time: Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Jean Cocteau, and more.
The Why Did I Bother
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Yawn – yet another trilogy of books set in a dystopian regime. Yet another feisty female heroine. But with the addition of the ability to fly (among other things) this is one book I read quickly and did enjoy. Mind you, not enough to read the other two novels or play the adventure game. Your reading mileage may vary.
The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age by Joyce Carol Oates. Try as I might to ‘get’ Joyce Carole Oates, I fail miserably at every turn. In this case, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the writing: it is flawless, ineffable, detailed – all of those things that writing should be. There are keen insights, memorable scenes, soul-baring revelations and confessions. But the memoir reads more like a series of journal entries in need of a strong story line. Maybe it’s me, the reader? Or maybe it’s the writing.
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