I've been reading many fabulous books lately...but many of them have been rather emotionally fraught, leaving me a bit on the worn out side. So what's a reader to do? Try something completely different, of course!
And for me, something completely different meant catching up on two of my favorite series of junk food books.
1. Dead Reckoning, Charlaine Harris
2. Dead In The Family, Charlaine Harris
3. Flirt, Laurell K. Hamilton
4. Bullet, Laurell K. Hamilton
They were fun.
I also tried some non-fiction.
5. The Tiger, John Vaillant had a great premise (who doesn't love man-eating tigers!) and came with strong recommendations...but I became so bogged down in Russian politics and yet another convoluted writing style that I gave up about 1/3 of the way through.
6. Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand - a must read. I immediately downloaded it to Dad's kindle because it's just that kind of book.
7. Bossypants, Tina Fey - also a must read. I highly recommend the audio book, as it is performed by Fey herself. A lot of fun, and surprisingly insightful.
And yet....I cannot escape the fact that at heart I adore good fiction.
8. The Fox Woman, Kij Johnson (print) - This book came to my attention thanks to the Endicott group at Goodreads, and I'm quite happy to say that it's my favorite new book from that list. I could sum up the entire book in just one word....beautiful. The pacing is slow and poetic, and it is therefor a book to be savoured. I found myself left with many, many questions about Japanese cultural history and folklore....and I just may have to do some reading. Incidentally, I found this interesting Wikipedia entry on Fox Wives, which was very interesting as this particular mythology is so very foreign to my admittedly Western educational background.
9. The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Nifenegger (audio)- I admit, I had some really bad preconceived notions about this book based upon its marketing and the fact that it was turned into a movie. When I asked for vacation book recommendations I was therefor shocked when one of my college friends - a very pragmatic man - suggested it to me. I trust his recommendations though, and when he further explained that the marketing and shelving powers that be had it completely wrong I decided to try it. When the vacation didn't happen, I reshelved my copy and proceeded to put it off for a while. I'm so glad I did. The book is told in two voices - Henry and Clare - and the producers wisely chose to use two actors to perform the different parts. It is going to be a long time before these characters - and all of the concepts the book brings up - leave me.
10. Island Beneath the Sea, Isabel Allende (audio) - It's been a very, very long time since I read Allende, and I honestly don't remember loving her work this much. I keep typing in descriptive phrases only to delete them and attempt the explanation again. So. Allende has created more characters who will be with me for a long time to come, and the relationships she built between the slaves and the masters in this book are so complex and ring so true that I felt I was there. Bravo. Perhaps I should reread Allende's other books.