Sunday, September 7, 2014

On My Bookshelf Now

This book has made me an emotional wreck! I cannot stop thinking about Will Traynor since I finished this fantastic, memorable book. The first chapter wraps you around its little finger so tight you'll be consumed and think of nothing else until you've read the last page. Will Traynor is a demigod - handsome, rich, powerful, a real man's man - and then suddenly in a wheelchair, a quadripaligic, due to an accident. The book is about the relationship between Will and his care-taker. About life's relationships. About choices. About pushing yourself into awkward places and maybe opening your mind a little bit. The characters are richly written. The writer must be English because the slang took awhile to get used to, but I warmed up and felt myself wanting to use the word bugger and I was calling sweaters by the British name: pullovers. I laughed out loud several times and cried even, too! Actually, I ended this book in tears and still haven't gotten over the ending. I won't give away anymore. Just read this damn book!

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stenger was recommended by Gwyneth Paltrow's goop blog. The book is a supposed classic written in the 80's and takes place in the early part of the 1900's and follows two couples through the decades.  I'm lukewarm about this book. There were parts that had me connected to the characters, but the point of view is narrated by one character the whole time which I found  tedious. Actually, I skimmed the last couple chapters, waiting for the end. For me, classics are hard to read for some reason. The things that shocked people in the 1940's just don't shock the kids (me) these days. This book has nothing raunchy, nothing racy, no spice, too wholesome for my taste. It's a short novel, one of those that you can say you've read, but eh... not sure that's much of an accomplishment anyway.

Now we get to the raunch! The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert is a very good (but raunchy) book. I enjoyed each word tremendously. Having read Gilbert's previous novel Eat, Pray, Love I was expecting good writing, but this novel is so completely different from her previous that I was shocked to even think the same author was writing the book. This book spans generations, travels continents, changes character point of view several times, has a lot to do with botany, and contains a LOT about the creation vs. evolution argument. The main character had me feeling quiet sad for her lot in life. A fantastic historical fiction that will transport you to another day and age. I was glued to this novel, but it did get a bit long in the end - however! I did not skim over parts, like I do in other novels. If you need a book to draw out for a week or so - this is the book. It's big. It's sweeping. The writing is superb. A great novel to cuddle up with on a cold and rainy weekend.  

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd was a novel I requested at the library on happenstance and come to find out... I had already read the book! But I persevered and read it a second time because by the time I was absolutely certain I'd read the book I was halfway done, so why not be sure to remember the ending by re-reading the whole book? Ack... what a waste of time! So boring! So... blasé. So unexciting! A woman leaves her husband and falls in love with a monk. End of story. Just kidding. The main character didn't make me feel any compassion for her, just kinda thinking she should get over herself. The best thing about this book was the way in which the author richly described the harbor the monastery was built upon. I could get into the way she described the waterways, the boating, the fisheries. An easy read that won't keep you up until 3am trying to finish the last page, but might give you a warm fuzzy. 

Tell me... What is on your bookshelf now? 


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