Some books I've enjoyed -- books I would recommend to friends. I'm not going to even attempt to hint at plots or link to reviews -- you all know how to ask Mr. Google.
I have yet to read an Anne Tyler book that didn't instantly immerse me in a world full of very real people with very real lives -- low key, even ordinary -- if any human being can be called ordinary. I think this is Tyler's genius, that by depicting these lives with such exquisite and empathetic observation, she touches on something universal. A Spool of Blue Thread, like most of Tyler's novels is about a family . . . and anyone who's been a member of a family will probably recognize characters and situations. Beautifully written -- Tyler at her best.
Ellen Foster was Kaye Gibbons's debut novel. This powerful first-person evocation of a young girl looking for a family after the death of her mother kept me reading till 3 in the morning. Ellen is a tough little survivor and her story is by turns heart-breaking and heart-warming. Ellen's no-nonsense, don't-feel-sorry-for-me voice is pitch-perfect. I loved this character.
Alice Hoffman's brand of magical realism is always enjoyable -- a little dark at times but not the kind of dark that leaves me depressed. Her writing is beautiful -- reminding me a bit of Ray Bradbury. (She does weather and gardens especially well.)
Fortune's Daughter and The Story Sisters both kept me reading late into the night . . .
And now for something completely different. Not so much estrogen. Terry Pratchett's recent death set me thinking that I might give his books another try. Somehow the one or two I've read in the past didn't make the impression on me that they probably should have. I may have started in the middle of a series or something. So as a prelude to reading some Pratchett, I re-read Good Omens -- co-authored by Neil Gaiman (whose novels I adore.)
I'd liked the book the first time I read it -- this time I really liked it: the goofiness, the theology, the characters, the Apocalyptic vision, and the resolution of it all.
And I particularly like Dog -- the Hell Hound destined to be the Anti Christ's companion who, to his bewilderment, finds himself suddenly smaller and less demonic -- cute, in fact. And really interested in doing dog stuff.