Monday, March 2, 2015

Heavy Reading Season

This headline filled me with joy:  "Neil Gaiman reviews new Kazuo Ishiguro novel."  It's a big deal when two of your favorite authors are mentioned in the same sentence. I put the new book on hold at the library and I'm hoping it takes a while to get here because I always need to emotionally prepare myself for an Ishiguro novel. Deep breathing and stuff. All of his books have left me a little scarred at the end. It's a good thing he only puts out one every decade or so. Why do painful books sometimes feel so good to read?

Do you do seasonal reading? Like, To Kill a Mockingbird is for the summer and Anne of Green Gables is better in the spring. I seem to read heavier stuff in the winter. This has historically been the case but especially now with seminary. I just can't go very deep in those early months of the seminary year. My brain can't handle it. But once the Christmas break has passed I seem to be able to deal with a little more depth. Crave it, even. Which is how I found myself devouring Station Eleven on Saturday. Boy that was heavy. I mean, it was no heavier than any other post-apocalyptic novel I guess, but the characters were a bit joyless, even before the pandemic wiped out 99% of the world's population (That's not a spoiler. You learn this by looking at the flap.) I will say this though, even with all the dour faces and bummer circumstances (and sadly, a real lack of strong characters) the story sucks you in. And I so appreciated that because it's been too long since a book has compelled me to put aside all responsibility and spend an entire day reading. Could one of you please read it and get back to me. I'd like to discuss.

You might also enjoy The 10 PM Question. This was recommended by my kiwi friend Angela and it was so good. In the veins of Okay for Now good. (You absolutely have to read Okay for Now. I'm serious. But read the Wednesday Wars first because it could give you a foundation.) It's set in New Zealand (you just don't get that very often) and Angela assures me that it feels very authentic. It unfolds beautifully and you will love the characters.

And for some non-fiction: The Boys on the Boat. It seems a lot of people have read this already but it's rare for me to read non-fiction and when I find one that I like I feel like the whole world should read it. It's a real stamp of approval. This tracks the 1936 gold medal Olympic rowing team from the University of Washington. You won't believe how much you start caring about crew.

Okay, you're turn. Recommend a book to me please.


Rach said...

We're reading The Whistling Season for book group this month. I just started it last month and it's looking pretty promising. Small town quirky charm. And The Language of Flowers is a BEAUTIFUL book. I also loved Big Little Lies. I'm going to hit up my local library for the books you listed. I've got all kinds of time to read right now, what with the plague hitting my house.

Valerie said...

I ONLY read seasonally.