After food, my favorite thing to talk about is books.
I am so lucky to have the job I do – two days a week in our local, independent book store, Royal River Books. We get a new shipments of books almost every day and opening that box is like Christmas. Pulling out fresh copies of bestselling fiction, kids’ classics, new releases and old favorites makes me feel like I hit the jackpot, even though they don’t really belong to me. I stack them high on the counter as I enter them into inventory. Most days there are a few special orders and they’re often books I’m not familiar with. It’s such fun to see what other readers are interested in. Sometimes I end up ordering a copy for myself.
The past six moths or so I’ve been lucky to read one great book after the next. Here are some of my favorites…
This character driven novel tells the story of a young college baseball star, his mentor, the college president and his daughter during a time of awakening and change for them all. Loads of great dialogue, a sense of humor and a good feel for its location.
You probably know Ann Patchett as the author of the bestseller Bel Canto. State of Wonder again takes us to an exotic location (the Amazon River) where the main character is completely out of her comfort zone. She confronts both her past and her future as she searches for a colleague deep in the heart of darkness.
Loved this story of young New Yorkers in the 1930s! A chance encounter brings a young woman of modest background into a wealthy and sophisticated circle. She learns that things are not always what they seem.
A twisted psychological thriller that was impossible to put down. Gone Girl will make you dizzy as your sympathies swing from one character to the other. I mean that in the best possible way. Worth the price of the hardcover.
All the action takes place in one day (although there are flashbacks) during the Victory Tour for a young soldier fresh from the battlefield . His stream-of-consciousness is alternately hilarious, poignant, innocent, worldly and definitely eye-opening. An interesting commentary on American heroes.
And last but not least, the latest from my all time favorite author, John Irving. It has all the usual themes of his work – older women, wrestling teams, sexual confusion, prep schools, Vermont and more (although I can’t recall a bear and he often includes bears). There’s something about the Irving style that is so appealing to me. Part humor, part empathy and some other indescribable quality that’s hard to name.
And that’s why I’m a blogger and not a novelist.
So tell me, what have you read lately? What have you loved? Couldn’t finish?
And if you’re ever in the area, come see me at the store so we can talk books and food.