So, here's what I've been reading in the last three months:
Game of Thrones series: I'm all caught up on books one through five and waiting for book six. These ate up pretty much the entire month of April. They kind of bore me. Five 1,000-page books in and the seven kingdoms are pretty much in the same state of disarray they were in at the beginning despite numerous battles, deaths and sex scenes. But there are a few characters I care about and I'm curious to see where the hell George RR Martin is going with all this.
Heaven is Here, Stephanie Nielsen: I wasn't a huge fan of NieNie's blog, but memoirs, especially ones about surviving something as horrific as being burned in a plane crash, are enticing to me. I'm a voyeur at heart, I guess, and I always read them wondering if I could handle as much. This one was a sweet and easy read.
Arcadia, Lauren Groff: I have a huge crush on Groff. I adored her first book, The Monsters of Templeton, which was gorgeous writing and a story that was a combination of coming of age, family history and magical realism pretty much tailor-made to my tastes. This one, about a 1960s commune and its aftermath, had a different mood, but her writing was just as perfect. I met her at a book festival this spring, and she's goofy and well-spoken and funny.
Blue Nights, Joan Didion: This is a memoir about aging, framed around the death of Didion's daughter. It's depressing as hell, but her writing is wonderful and every so often she hits upon a real, honest-to-god truth about life.
Anne of Green Gables series: I needed something light after the blood and gore of Game of Thrones and death and mortality of Blue Nights. I hadn't read this series since The Boy was a baby. I loved it even more as an adult.
Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom, Little Women: Elizabeth was talking about Eight Cousins, which is one of my very favorite Louisa May Alcott books, so I felt compelled to read it. And you can't read that without finishing the story with the sequel. And then I remembered it's been a decade, at least, since I read Little Women. I would have continued on with Little Men and Jo's Boys, but Mike stole the kindle (he's catching up on Game of Thrones), so my reading nostalgia is taking a pause. These get a little preachy, but here again, I found some wisdom for my adult life that I never picked up on as a kid. This was my favorite line from Little Women, about marriage:
"Each do our part alone in many things, but at home we work together, always."Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Up, Jonathan Safran Foer: I expected to find this book pretentious and annoying. It was kind of sweet and lovely.
Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal, Jeannette Winterson: In college, Michelle and I reread Written on the Body every time we were obsessing over a boy or crushing on someone new or just wondering if we ever were going to find someone to love. If that sounds melodramatic, it was. Winterson writes about love and sex and passion in such a compelling way. This memoir, about Winterson's troubled coming of age and relationship with her adopted mother, explains why. She's always dissecting love, picking it apart and trying to get at its roots.
Sea Change, Karen White: Beach read update of Rebecca, a modern day Gothic novel.
Friday Night Lights, HG Bissinger: My boys are never playing football.
Trout, Jeffrey Kunnerth: I get lots of books at work from people who don't understand that mid-size newspapers no longer have the staff to review books. Most of these books I have no interest in reading, but every once in awhile, one strikes my fancy. This one is basically long-form journalism about a Florida murder in the 1990s and the issue of juveniles being sentenced to death. Interesting stuff ... to me and maybe a dozen other people.
Truth of All Things, Kieran Shields: What if Sherlock Holmes were half Native American and working in Victorian-era Maine? That's basically this book. It's OK.
The Book of Jonas, Stephen Dau: Read this book. I loved it. I am endlessly fascinated by the shades of gray war introduces into an individual's morality. That's basically what this book is about. I know that sounds heavy, and it is a bit, but it's also a really engaging, pretty and easy read.
So, if I ever get the kindle back, I've got Wild on there waiting to be read and the sequel to Discovery of Witches. I'm 100 pages into Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers. What else should I be reading?