My Favorite Recent ReadsApril 12, 2013
Thanks for the AWESOME comments in my last post. The ten winners have been drawn and notified by email. You guys make me happy with all the happy you were making yourselves.
I HAVE MADE A DECISION. (It's entirely possible I've made this decision before, but because of my legendarily bad memory, it feels like the first time. Yay!)
From here on out, I'm going to read only books that I LOVE. I've been pretty good at that--sometimes. Other times, I think, okay, this book has great reviews, everyone loves this book, and boy, I'd rather be reading this than stabbing myself in the eye, so I'll keep on plodding through. You know those books.
On the other hand are the books that you adore. You can't wait to get back to them. You think about them during the day and sneak time to read wherever you can grab it (on the bus, on the toilet, underneath the porch). At night you wish your eyes would stay open longer.
Yeah, I've decided I'm only going to read that type from now on. We live in the future, people! With an e-reader you can load up your device with samples and then lie back on your fluffy pillow and read through them until you find something that makes your eyelashes curl. THEN you hit purchase.
And if that beloved book stops delivering half-way through? I've decided I'll give it maybe a chapter or two more before throwing it in the virtual round file. No more guilt about books on the e-reader that are only halfway read. Books you really love don't stay half-read. Delete away! And it's not like we could ever run out of AMAZING books, especially with friends that recommend good reads to us.
In that spirit, I offer you a couple of great reads, books I've read recently that I haven't been able to put down. (There's something here for everyone. I've been reading widely and happily.)
The Family Man, Elinor Lipman. My friend Sophie sent me this. You have to love a friend who knows you well enough to say, Here. This is for you. You'll love it. And it was lovely. I read it in Italy, and it was the perfect vacation read. No spoilers (I hate to know ANYTHING before I start reading a book): it's about a retired gay lawyer in New York who finds his long-lost adopted daughter working the coat check of his hair-dresser's salon (this happens at the very beginning). It's adorable. It's sweet. It's funny while managing to keep some of that bittersweet flavor of life that makes the funny funnier, you know? She has such a delightful voice that I'm immediately putting all her other books on my Check It Out pile.
Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn. By the author of Gone Girl, this is rather the polar opposite of the book I just recommended. Absolutely jarring, it's the story of a family torn apart by a secret. And honestly, while I love light and sweet, I have to admit I love a very dark story well-told. Flynn's voice is not only unerring but also completely fearless. She crossed lines with this story that I, as an author, would never dare to cross, and I kept gobbling it down. It's my favorite of her three books.
Purgatory Chasm, Steve Ulfelder. This is a hard-boiled mystery novel that reads like . . . a Bruce Springsteen song. I'm not the biggest mystery fan, and I can give the Boss a miss most days, but combined? This is dirty-sublime. Great fun.
Arranged, Catherine McKenzie. DARLING. Zany chick-lit romp with the added bonus that the heroine's name is ANNE BLYTHE. ::rolls on the ground in ecstasy:: The author clearly knows Anne like we know Anne, and this was great fun.
The Beginner's Goodbye, Anne Tyler. Oh, Anne Tyler, you wonderful thing, you. I think you're not going to able to pull it off, and then you do. I'm only half-way through this one, but it's glorious and sad and sweet and so very her. Her prose makes me want to be not only a better writer but a better person. She knows emotion.
Any amazing recs from y'all?