Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Book bonanza

I've been too busy reading lately to keep up with the reading log. Here's what I have been reading:

Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World by Mary Pipher. A wonderful, helpful, sane memoir by the author of Reviving Ophelia, which had a big impact on me when it first came out in the early '90s. What I like about Pipher's book (and also about Sylvia Boorstein's writing) is how matter-of-fact she is about the inevitability of screwing up, then picking yourself up and trying again. It's nice to be reminded that we ALL screw up, and she's very honest about that.

Thinking About Memoir by Abigail Thomas. I loved Thomas' memoir A Three Dog Night (and highly recommend it if you haven't read it). This small volume is a great way to get starting thinking about your own life and what's been important in it. I found the writing exercises that Thomas intersperses through the book to be very helpful.

Why Do I Love These People by Po Bronson. This guy's previous book What Should I Do With My Life dealt with people who were struggling to find their vocation/avocation and people who had done so. This book is about families - how they stay together, how they come apart. Bronson has a great talent for telling stories about ordinary people trying to do the best they can, and the extraordinary things that sometimes result. 

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson -- (fantasy) -- a real page turner. Didn't quite grab me as much as his "Hero of Ages" trilogy but I can see that a sequel might be in the works - and I hope so. Please God, let Sanderson not get sucked into the neverending nightmare of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Let him just write one book to wrap it up and then get off the Wheel of Time & go back to building his own worlds and creating his own kick-butt characters. Have I mentioned how well he does strong female characters? He does. Read him. You won't be sorry.

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline (thriller) -- wow. Phyllis recommended this book to me. I'd never read anything by this author (though I knew she was popular with the readers at my library). It was great - I couldn't put it down. I ignored everything around me. I refused to speak when spoken to. All I could do was read. Wow.

Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay (thriller) - I was lucky enough to score an advanced reader's copy of this book, which will not be published till August. This is the first book I've read by this author and all I can say is -- why haven't I heard of him sooner? The man is a really really good writer. Fans of Harlan Coben should get to their library RIGHT NOW and check out one of this guy's books. I've already started adding him to my repertoire of books to recommend to people as they check out at the circ desk.

Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay (thriller) - another excellent thriller. 

The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss (historical thriller) -- WOW -- I loved this book. I don't think I've ever read a historical thriller that was done so well. It's set in the United States about 10 years after the American Revolution. Terrific thriller, and wonderful historical novel - all wrapped up in one delicious literary package. Can't wait to read more of Liss' work.

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