Thursday, March 27, 2014

Reading List

In the wake of moving, I've managed to read quite a bit, and, unlike last year, the selections have been excellent, one after another. I'm thinking that I need to recreate my reading pages, but until then here's the best-of list so far. I swear you can't go wrong with any of these, but there is a caveat to the Ranger's Apprentice series: It's truly for the young adult. Graeme got me started, and there was no turning back once I got hooked on the arc of the whole thing. The fifth book starts a new arc, and two-thirds of the way through it I asked how many books it took to play the arc out, and he said, "Ummmm, seven? Eight? I've lost count." And that was when I felt liberated to jump back into the land of adult fiction.

The All-Girl Filling Stations' Last Reunion, Fannie Flagg. This was an excellent first-book-of-the year. Frankly, I can't think of a bad time to read this book. Flagg proves again and again that the voices and characters she creates have staying power well beyond the page, and I think of those friends she has made for me quite often.

This year I discovered John Green. I read The Fault in Our Stars and liked it so much that I dove immediately into Looking for Alaska, which had me laughing at regular intervals and near tears more than once, but in a good way. A great way. Later, when I felt lost and alone, I turned to Green again, scooping up An Abundance of Katherines and feeling restored in the process. I confess: I'm saving his other works for when I need them. He is that good.

The Ranger's Apprentice Series, books 1-5. I blame Graeme. Still. They are quite fine.

Reamde, Neal Stephenson. I was totally immersed in this novel while I read it. Dishes? Someone else's job. Showers? Possibly optional. I loved this book. I hope you do, too.

Mickey Outside, David Lender. I confess: I have a love-love relationship with detective crime fiction. I have a fascination with cat burglars and art thieves; I savor a good comeuppance. This novel manages to blend all three. I look forward to seeing what shenanigans Mickey gets up to next.

Murder as a Fine Art, David Morrell. For this, I squarely blame Jennifer. This book was never even near my radar until I went looking at her best of 2013 list. She's right -- this Victorian detective thriller is worth every page-turning moment. I dare you not to love it.

And finally, most recently, Max Barry's Lexicon. It was on my to-read list for ever so long, and then I delved in, unsuspecting of how swept away I would be by the ideas, the passion of the story, the idea of words as power. This is a page-turner, absolutely; but it will stick with you, change you, flavor everything you see and do. Words are like that.