Monday, March 23, 2015

Recent Reading


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.

Great fun!




8 comments:

Ms. A said...

I probably should go back to reading books, actual books, instead of being on the computer all the time. Big problem is... I can't enlarge the print.

Stella Jones said...

I really fancy the first book you recommend Vicki. A spool of blue thread sounds just right for me. Thank you. It's now on my reading list!

Barbara R. said...

Hi Vicki...I think I've read all of Terry Pratchett's, and own most (the ones I know I want to re-read). The whimsey about Brit magical things is glorious. Satire!

Vicki Lane said...

Ms. A -- That's the joy of a Kindle --- you have about six choices of print size. I usually start with smaller print then, as my eyes get tired I enlarge it. I read all of these on my Kindle. And several of them were special deals -- 2 or 3 dollars apiece'

Stella -- I think you'd enjoy it

Vicki Lane said...

Barb -- Which do you recommend for starters?

NCmountainwoman said...

I finished "Spool of Blue Thread" and really enjoyed it. Heard about it on NPR before it was released. And I just got, but haven't read, "Fortune's Daughter." And I have read some of Neil Gaiman's new short stories. He has one about "American Gods" Shadow. A debut novel caught my eye and I really liked it. It's "My Sunshine Away" by M.O. Walsh. Great read.

Vagabonde said...

This looks like an interesting list. I need to get back to fiction as I am reading mostly nonfiction, history and travel writings. Went to the library sale last week – even though I should not have since I have so many unread books – but was tempted by 2 French books, in French, and one in English, a historical fiction type I think, it is called “The Widow of the South” by Robert Hicks. Bought it mostly because it takes place at Carnton Plantation in Franklin, TN, which is about 10 miles from my daughter’s home and I plan to visit it sometime. Also I tried to use your widget, the one at the end of your post that says “you might also like” and never could get it.

Vicki Lane said...

I know of that book, Vagabonde, but haven't read it. Sounds interesting.

The widget worked for me . . .