Wednesday, June 6, 2007

recent reads

I've GOT to get my second book read for Reader's Advisory Roundtable next week. We're doing short story collections, not my fav. However, I've managed to spice it up in my usual fashion as I'll be bringing Laurell K. Hamilton's Strange Candy and Larry Niven's The Draco Tavern. Strange Candy was very good; I always like seeing the early efforts of my fav authors as it makes me feel better about some of my own brain vomit. I haven't started The Draco Tavern yet, but I am looking forward to it. I like science fiction and Niven is practically ancestor-status in the genre so it should be pretty interesting. He's been writing for something like 40 years and has put stopovers for interstellar travelers at the Draco Tavern in his many of his books; this effort puts all of those vignettes together in one book. Bring it on.

I've got about 20 books checked out to read right now and I seriously think my eyes were bigger eyes? My brain maybe? Drat my inability to speed read! Things I have finished reading AND enjoyed include:

The Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead

Robey Childs is only 14 when his mother sends him to the battlefields of the Civil War to search for (and bring home) his father. What follows is a brutal, bloody account of the evil that men do in the name of war and survival.

The Sacred Bones by Michael Byrnes

Move over DaVinci Code! This debut novel has the same roller coaster ride feel but with better writing (IMHO). Plus the author describes more of the scenery which made me want to visit Italy and the Vatican even more! Here's the first line from the blurb: At the crossroads of Christian, Islamic, and Jewish faiths, an ancient artifact is stolen from a long-hidden vault located directly beneath Jerusalem's Temple Mount . . .

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

If you haven't read The Kite Runner, climb out from underneath that rock and get a copy. Follow on its heels with this equally stunning novel which looks at the intertwining lives of two women in Afghanistan. Hosseini seemingly climbs into people's brains and writes, verbatim, what he sees and hears. Brilliant, heart-breaking, horrifying, beautiful....

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

Anyone who knows me KNOWS that I do not read nonfiction lightly. It's just so BORING to me unless it is extraordinarily narrative. Enter Eat, Pray, Love. I have wanted to read this book since I read the first review and now I am nearly finished. I will be ordering this one for my personal library! It will be too wordy for some, too preachy for others, too pagan for a few but I love every word that I've read. It makes me wish I too could afford to sell everything I own and take a year across the pond to discover who I am.

I have others waiting to be read and some that were just not worth the effort to write about (either indifferent or just plain bad) but rest assured I'll be on the lookout for more. Once this whole school thing is over, I will be gearing my reading back up to pre-grad school levels. Any reading I do at work I refer to as "recommendation development" for management's sake :)
So, here's to everyone getting in a little "recommendation development" today!!!!


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