Thursday, October 21, 2010

What I've Been Reading...

I tend to devour books voraciously.  I eat them for breakfast.  They live by my side, then inside as I turn the last page and marinate in the bask of the author's glow.

I may be a bit melodramatic, but I thought I'd share a few gems I've eaten (ahem, read) this past year.  I've been averaging a book a week this year, so I'm not talking the 'yeah, that was okay' books here, I'm talking 'I can't handle more than one syllable words today because I stayed up until 4:30am reading this book last night' books.  Those are the books that stick to your ribs and make you full.

While on a lovely summer mini-vacation with my bff, I read Audrey Niffenegger's new book, Her Fearful Symmetry.  I had read The Time Traveler's Wife earlier in the year and enjoyed the writing style, but not the story, so in picking up her newest book I was a bit skeptical.  Twins in France and a dead aunt?  Eh.  Turns out, the back of the book was entirely misleading and the story was actually a ghost story cleverly disguised as a coming of age drama.  I read the whole book while drinking margaritas and playing cards in Discovery Bay, couldn't put the dang thing down.

Speaking of ghost stories, The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters was the best haunted house/ghost-like novel I've ever read.  If you need a good 'what's really happening here?' book told from the perspective of someone as skeptical as you are, this is the book for you.  Again, I read the whole thing over a weekend of bachelorette partying with my baby sister.

I just finished reading A Million Little Pieces by James Frey and while it wasn't my style of book at all, I couldn't put it down.  I read it in three sittings, biting my nails at the painful parts and laughing at the good.  The book is written as a stream of conscious and it's about a young man's (early twenties) struggle through rehab after using hard drugs since his pre-teen years.  It was engaging, to say the least.

Speaking of drugs, I also read All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Janelle Brown.  Not what I would call a heavy read but I fell in love with all three of the women featured in the book so read this light and fun book in two late nights.  A story of a tragic divorce, a billion dollars made in one afternoon, a movie star boyfriend, and a drug dealing pool boy set in the Silicon Valley.  The relationships of mother and daughter, husband and wife, and daughter and father were incredibly well written and realistic.  Many times I found myself nodding in agreement with the characters.  The entire novel was tragic yet hilarious on all accounts.

To make myself seem a little less childlike, I'm also throwing The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho into the mix.  This was not a light summer read, this was big philosophical ideas disguised in a love story.  I enjoyed the book for two reasons, one being the main character (kindred spirits, she and I), and two being the unique narrative.  The story was told chapter by chapter from a different perspective each time.  It was the story of a young woman's life (and end) told by friends and acquaintances, each with their own spin and opinion.

A few other good ones that just didn't make the 'stick to your ribs' good cut are:

The Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn  (good story, boring writing style)
Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (for the fantasy nerds out there)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (good, but not as good as Coelho's previously mentioned book)
The Girl With No Shadow by Joanne Harris (demoted only because Vianne's character was so completely unlovable in this sequel compared to the first.  This book was actually quite good and I read it in two nights and I do adore Joanne Harris.)
The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas (loved the book until I read the epilogue. Enough said.)

And now I'm going back to my current book (The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera) with a cup of tea at my side.  Hope you find something yummy in this list for yourself!

What are you reading?


Leah said...

I am reading the complete and total brain candy that is "Mr Darcy's Diary". Embarrassing as it is, I enjoyed it. I always have loved P and P. The author does a credible job of recreating Darcy's personality.

subliminalrabbit said...

i LOVED the end of mr y. but the little stranger? i felt left out in the cold.

i'm on a strange miss marple kick - never read any agatha christie until just now. i get such a rush out of trying to figure out who done it!