You guys, I have been a reading fiend lately. According to my little Goodreads widget in the sidebar, I have read 27 books in 2012. It is true. I am a fast reader, and, as I’ve mentioned before, I have difficulty closing a book once I begin.
When I walk into the library to pick up a hold, I walk out with at least ten books…usually closer to twenty. It’s an illness. The best kind of illness, to be sure, but when I’m nose-deep in a book, the rest of my life retreats. I wear book blinders, and now I need to take them off for awhile, so as to get some other stuff accomplished. There’s only one book left in my library pile, and I’m going to finish it today, then I’m cutting myself off from the library for a little while.
Anywho, I have on my desk a stack of books I read within the past year. I’m weeding out, attempting (somewhat unsuccessfully) to fit all my books in my one bookcase. I bought them all used or on the clearance table at the bookstore. And now, I’d like to share them with you!
First up, Echoes by Maeve Binchy (paperback). I’d never read Binchy before this year, and I was curious. I enjoyed it. Mid-20th Century historical fiction.
Next: March by Geraldine Brooks (paperback). It’s the author’s story of Mr. March – the father in Little Women. I enjoy it when later authors put their own spin on secondary characters in well-known novels. It wasn’t all happiness and roses, but then, neither was Little Women.
Joy For Beginners by Erica Bauermeister (hardcover). This one I actually bought new, for a book club read. It was okay. Modern women’s fiction…not as deep as I think the author hoped. Still, not a bad way to spend a few hours. It did instill in me a desire for a multi-day whitewater rafting trip. Like now.
Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris (paperback). (In case the author sounds familiar – she wrote Chocolat, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film in 2000.) This was good…very good. Darker than I usually prefer, but what else can one expect from a book set in German-occupied France? Great characters, interesting timeline.
Watermark by Vanitha Sankaran (paperback). Another set in France, but in 1320…instead of German occupiers, the protagonist is threatened by the Inquisition. I almost kept this one, but I decided to share it instead. I loved it. I am fascinated by the arts and how they’ve developed over the centuries. The main character is the mute daughter of a papermaker. Very well done.
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett (hardcover). I grabbed this one off the sale table, seduced by the title and cover, not realizing it was nonfiction. It is the true story of a rare book thief. Somewhat interesting, but not my normal fare. It didn’t really hold my interest, but that doesn’t mean you won’t like it!
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe (hardcover). I did enjoy this one! Historical fiction and contemporary timelines – check. Magic – check. Mystery – check. Not the most well-written book ever, but there are incredibly well-written books out there I simply do not enjoy. This one could be better, but I liked it, and I suppose that’s all that matter when I’m reading. (I look now at my Goodreads history and see I only gave it three stars out of five. I wonder what I’m remembering differently from when I first finished it? I find the rating system to be so arbitrary, anyway. The stars a book gets from me vary widely depending on my mood.)
Phew! That’s it! Seven books, all up for grabs. One of you will receive all seven. Just leave a comment telling us the best book you’ve read in the past year by Midnight Pacific Time, this coming Sunday night, April 21. Easy peasy.