Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What I've been reading

We’re in the middle of another snowstorm yet again. It’s the kind of day where you just want to stay in bed and read. That won’t be happening, of course, because I’ve got too much to do. But I have managed to read some really good books lately, so I thought I’d share them with you.
All That Once Was Will Be Again was written by Alex Mogelon and beautifully illustrated by his daughter Ronna (the editor of ATC Quarterly). What I loved about this book was that I became so engrossed in reading about the Iroquois girl and boy—and their culture—that I had to read it straight through in one sitting. I felt like I was right there, and when I finally came up for air, I realized I’d learned a lot too. It has what I’m always looking for in a novel: a good story and great writing. Sample: when Uncle Ohne focuses on one bright star and hopes he will "be taken up to it and become a part of its brightness."
Emma thought I’d enjoy Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert—and she was right. After a painful divorce and an unhappy love affair, Gilbert goes on a yearlong voyage of healing. She eats heartily (and learns the language) in Italy; spends time in an Indian ashram; and then finds true love in Bali, where she also raises funds to buy a single mother her own house. This book is full of metaphysical and personal insights. But make sandwiches before you start reading. All I wanted to do was eat during the first section where Gilbert rhapsodizes over Italian food.
Emma also thought I’d like Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. The title gives you a good idea of how intense the writing is in this coming of age novel about a sixteen-year old called Blue. Each chapter is named after a classic novel, and Pessl quotes freely from all sorts of books—some real and others imaginary. It’s impossible to do this book justice in a few words, but it has a terrific ending … something you don’t usually get with literary novels, and why I usually avoid them.

Thanks Emma! What have you got for me to read next?

1 comment:

Ronna said...

Happy you like Dad's book!