my tragic right hip

Busting out bad joints all over the place

September 21st, 2012

TRH-Yes, I Am Still Reading Books

So, this used to be a book blog. Way in the way back before I got off track by babies and work and life and jobs and babies and fun and life and all kinds of other stuff, I actually used to read books. A lot of books. These days, if I finish a book a week, well, every two weeks, I’m lucky. And I’ve lost track now of where I am in terms of reviews and who knows what else. There are a couple of books that I’ve read in the last few months that I do remember…

Drop-Dead Healthy (#47) and The Year of Living Biblically (#48) by AJ Jacobs. Jacobs, a staff writer/editor at large for Esquire magazine, might just be the king of these year-long “challenges” that turn into books. In a sense, they are stunt-like, but the determination and perseverance that he displays, plus the thoroughly entertaining quality of his writing, alongside some honest-to-goodness solid advice about life and how to live it ensures both books were highly enjoyable.

The Cutting Season (#49) by Attica Locke. I read this in Halifax at sales conference. It’s a thriller in the vein of those early 90s books that were so popular, you know, the John Grisham-esque school of writing where there’s a lot of action, some great plotting and a solid character who stumbles into something they perhaps shouldn’t have. Locke is a rare talent–she can write commercially but manages still to have great dialogue and character development.

The Heart Broke In (#50) by James Meek. This novel by British writer Meek floored me. It’s epic, not unlike The Corrections, in the sense that it’s a family drama at its core, or State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, because there are scientists and their work at the core of the story, this really is one of the best novels, it the purest form, that I have read this year. Ridiculously good.

Before the Frost (#51) by Henning Mankell. I’ve been obsessively watching Wallander with Kenneth Branagh, and was reading and watching this book/episode in tandem (I’ve still got 20 minutes left on the episode, don’t spoil it, kidding). Here Wallander’s daughter, Linda, is about to join the force–even before she starts, she finds herself embroiled in a case involving an old school friend who may or may not have disappeared. As with most Wallander novels, Mankell has an eerie ability to get to the heart of so many issues, gruesome, intense, but ultimately rewarding, I enjoyed this book. The dialogue, however, is not awesome.

I started reading a biography of Henry Purcell that was so boring I just brought it right back to the library, which got me thinking that I honestly prefer my historical characters spiced up in fiction. I started and abandoned The Sentimentalists, because, well, I don’t even know, it just wasn’t particularly engaging in any way. I’ll try and go back to it. I’ve started the latest Louise Penny but then got sidetracked by The Marriage Plot, which deserves its own review. Do you see a pattern evolving? A lot of starts and stops. At least I finished the above. Oh, and I read Rose Tremain’s Trespass for book club and really didn’t like that either (#52).

Obviously, there are more…but these were the best of what I’d read lately, and I’m not including

 

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Girl with titanium hip will rock. Girl with titanium hip will write. Girl with titanium hip will read. Girl with titanium hip will battle crazy-ass disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now stuff that in your spelling bee!

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