Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trying to Read

Reading goes in cycles for me. I use my library card religiously because, as my mom says, I “use them up too quickly.” “Them” being books. It’s true because if I’m reading something I like I can finish a novel in less than a week – less time if I don’t have to go to work. And these days, at the astounding non-sale price of $35 for a hardcover, that’s an expensive habit.

I recently read through the entire Henry VIII sagas of Phillipa Gregory, from Katherine of Aragon to Elizabeth. They were entertaining and interesting especially since all I knew about the period was that he beheaded Anne Boleyn. Now at least I know why. But by the time I got to Elizabeth (The Virgin’s Lover), I ran out of steam. Half way through the book I didn’t care about her or what happened at the end. So I took it back to the library.

The same holds true for Charles Frazier’s latest, “Thirteen Moons.” I don’t usually read books about male protagonists, but I loved “Cold Mountain” so I thought I would enjoy this one too. NOT. Barely one chapter into it, and I don’t care about this character at all, so it goes back to the library tomorrow.

That’s another nice thing about the library – no buyer’s remorse! I’ll continue to add books to my request list and see what happens. If you’ve read something lately that you liked, let me know. I’ve found some great reads on the QA ring. Here are some of my recent favorites, in no particular order:

The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See
The Money Dragon, Pam Chun
Mistress of Spices, Chitra Divakaruni
Garlic and Sapphires, Ruth Reichl
Crazy with Curry, Amulya Malladi
The Other Boleyn Girl, Phillipa Gregory
Art of Mending, Elizabeth Berg


Hedgehog said...

I love mysteries - you might check out Sujata Massey - Japanese-American female protagonist, mostly set in Japan.

Another all-time favorite - Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund.

Also just finished Zorro by Isabel Allende - she's terrific.

Anonymous said...

may I suggest "Climbing the Mango Trees" by Madhur Jaffrey-a combination biographic tale and memories of family cooking. She's a wonderful writer and great cook. I enjoy seeing your work and it always makes me remember my, all too brief, time in Hawaii.