“Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.” --Harold Bloom
Perfect quote for this month, as January has had me staying in and being a hermit more often than not! Add some airport time early in the month to that and you've got a prodigious (and pretty mixed-bag) reading list for the month!
The Good Girl, Mary Kubica: I picked this up at the Phoenix airport en route home from the Fiesta Bowl, and stayed up late when I got home to finish it right away. It's a Gone Girl-esque thriller about a kidnapping, told from the perspective of the kidnapper, the victim's mother, and the cop on the case. Lots of little twists and one big one that legit left me going "WHAT?!"
The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, Andrew Sean Greer: A woman undergoing electroshock therapy finds herself experiencing parallel lives in different eras...the 80's at the advent of the AIDS crisis, the end of World War I, and the beginning of World War II. Beautifully written and incredibly heartwarming.
The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion: A brilliant, autistic college professor decides to go on a hunt for a wife with a detailed "wife checklist," and ends up entangled with a quirky oddball of a woman looking for her biological father. I constantly had a smile on my face reading this...perfect midwinter pick-me-up read!
The Will of Wisteria, Denise Hildreth: A cozy, charming, lighthearted read about four siblings whose late father's will challenges them to overturn their lifestyles for a year. Super fast read, but mostly unremarkable.
My Notorious Life, Kate Manning: A turn-of-the-century tale of New York crime rings, abortion, immigration, class structures and women's rights all rolled into one. A bit overwhelming at times, and I had a hard time connecting with the narrator, but all in all a fast-paced and interesting enough read for a few evenings!
Falling For Hamlet, Michelle Ray: Oh my goodness, this was a completely vapid waste of time. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I watch E!'s "The Royals," and the first season was loosely based on this book. If possible, the book is worse than the TV show...terrible text shorthand, dull, insipid writing, and if you ask me, a wasted opportunity to do something really fun with one of Shakespeare's best works.
Pericles, William Shakespeare: I was inspired to read Pericles after seeing Joseph Haj's production of it at the Guthrie...and not liking it. I hoped reading it would redeem it in my eyes, but it's an insipid, repetitive, weak Shakespeare play in my eyes. I blame that largely on the fact that it's supposedly not entirely by Shakespeare...but it's easily my least favorite of his works that I've read thus far.
So I re-read all the Madeleine L'Engle "Kairos" series on a whim after stumbling on a blog post about the best young adult fiction. The four books took me about two days to pound through, and they were fun to revisit. Well-written, if a bit dated, with overt but not in-your-face Christian messaging and such a creative, original outlook.
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle
A Wind in the Door, Madeleine L'Engle
A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Madeleine L'Engle
Many Waters, Madeleine L'Engle