Thursday, February 19, 2009

Curled Up With a Good Book




It's cold and gray out most days and when it's like that all I feel like doing is making soup and crawling under a quilt with a cup of tea and a good book. And I've been lucky this winter--my husband gave me three books for Christmas. So, without further ado, here's what I've been enjoying in 2009 . . .

Stewart O'Nan's Songs for the Missing. This takes a tough subject (an 18 year-old girl disappears on her way to work) but O'Nan handles it with grace--the narrators include her parents and younger sister as well as her friends. Each one has such a clear voice that they really allowed me to inhabit his fictional town. Beautifully done.

Kathleen Flinn's The Sharper the Knife, The Less You Cry. I loved this memoir of a year in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School. She writes with honesty and humor. She also removes the glamour of cooking schools!



Tasha Alexander's A Poisoned Season. I loved the first book in this "series" And Only to Deceive, and this one did not disappoint. The mystery is smart (almost as smart as the main character) and the details of the time are spot on. A thoroughly enjoyable trip to London.

Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows', The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I'd heard about this book, but had no idea what to expect. It's wonderful. Delightful. Poignant. Plus, you'll find out about some WWII history I'd never known. It's told in letters which are by turns funny, sweet and heartbreaking.

And just last night I started Wally Lamb's, The Hour I First Believed. Now, I'm only 20 or 30 pages in, but even as I was falling asleep I kept wanting to read one more page. And then another. And when I was at the gym this morning I'd catch myself thinking, ooh, when I get home I can read more of that book. As a writer, it's fascinating to see how he weaves in flashback and backstory without my even noticing. And as a reader, I just want to turn the page.

I can't say enough good things about all of these books--I highly, highly, highly recommend them.

So, what're you reading?

10 comments:

Lisa said...

I can totally relate to your reading experience last night, except I couldn't make myself stop and I was up until 4:00 AM reading THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH, by Saul Bellow. Written in 1953 and set primarily in the Depression, this book blows me away. The prose is sublime, the story is all consuming and I'd say that if there is a short list for the "Great American Novel", this one belongs on it.

Tasha Alexander said...

Judy, THANK YOU. You're far too kind!!!!

Kathryn Magendie said...

OH, those sound interesting! I'll have to check them out.

I'm actually reading something for a review...and it's a children's or YA book! I've never reviewed a children's book or YA before - so it's a new experience.

Kerry Madden's Gentler's Holler and next Louisiana Song....but, those two books are set in my town, as well.

kristenspina said...

I'm reading a collection of essays, "One Big Happy Family" for a magazine review I promised to write.

I would love to be reading the memoir you mentioned about cooking school. That sounds wonderful. And on that topic, I have a soup recipe you will love a hundred times over. We can't get enough of it. Easy and yummy! Probably can't link it here (I'll email!)

My Blog 2.0 said...

Hi Judy, sort of stumble across your blog..very cool place!

I'm currently reading Face of a Killer--excellent crime novel.

Dottie

Also checked out some of your sidebar info...very helpful...added to my bookmarks.

My Blog 2.0 said...

Hi Judy

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog!!

Dottie :)

Carleen Brice said...

I'm just finishing Erasure by Percival Evertt and starting If These Walls Could Talk by Bettye Griffin.

Daisy said...

I just finished The Help and Revolutionary Road. What's next? I think I'll look into the books on your list!

Carleen Brice said...

Actually, I forgot I had just bought Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I'm reading that now and really loving it!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Ooh, you guys have great suggestions as well. I just wish i had more time to read . . .