I have come to the place on the path where every book I pick up makes me happy. There is no good explanation for this, and yet it is true. I suspect that something in me has eased, because I'm even loving semi-crappy books. They seem friendly and well meaning. Am I going soft? Probably, but in any case I must share, because oh my god, I'd sort of forgotten what a pleasure reading could be, I feel like someone sent me ten pounds of the best chocolates and I'm just moving my way through the room where there are tons of excellent chocolate boxes lying around open, and each one (almost) is delicious.
So! Here you go:
Oh my god, so amazingly interesting and strange and full of things I did not know and am so happy to know now.
I didn't even love the first one, I only liked it a lot. But this one? I loved. LOVED.
I'm not even done with this yet, but the beginning has been so wonderful even if she breaks my heart and doesn't end it well, that's OK, because I read that wonderful beginning.
So strange and sad, and great to read. I am still sad about this. Which I imagine would piss off the author, but there it is.
Oh! Oh! Oh! It was so strange and beautiful. I cannot explain why it affected me, and thank you so much ChrisinNY! I loved this.
Oh how I love a hard-boiled mystery! Even when it's not exactly a mystery! Oh, despite your outmoded and sexist ideas, and your hot muggy descriptions when I'm already hot, how I love you, John D. MacDonald!
So here's the thing that's killing me: there is another one, another book and I cannot remember what it is and it's driving me crazy. Ah well, I have to hope I will remember it, because I think it's what delivered me into this new, excellent world, where I am enjoying everything I read, even books that aren't so great. It's just—it's just such a pleasure!
OK: I've showed you mine. Will you show me yours?
9 thoughts on “Oh, There Are So Many Good Books!”
Hi, Marcia– Thanks for sharing your latest favorites. STATION ELEVEN is amazing and I don’t think it will disappoint you. Around the same time, I read THE PAYING GUESTS, which is also (though quite different) compelling. My latest fav is HOW TO START A FIRE by Lisa Lutz. Do you know her stuff? Her Spellman Files series is like Harriet the Spy for adults, and HEADS YOU LOSE, written with her ex-boyfriend, is hysterical. She does amazing things with organization and structure in this new book. As a writer, I know you will appreciate it: https://onlygoodbooks.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/how-to-start-a-fire-by-lisa-lutz/
I’m at Hedgebrook on a three-week writing residency, and while I’ve written a lot, I’ve also read a lot. I finished that book “A Little Life,” and while I couldn’t put it down for part of the time, at the end I found myself skimming and now I’m just thinking, “why?” I finished Sally Mann’s memoir “Hold Still” which was a good read with some literary gossip, lots of photos and interesting history. I’m loving Kate Atkinson’s “A God in Ruins,” but not as much as I loved “Life After Life.” What else? I re-read most of Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse,” and dipped into and out of some poets — William Carlos Williams, Robin Robertson and Ellen Bass. I had bought Didion’s “Play It As It Lays,” and two of Shirley Jackson’s books, but I think I was too ambitious. Your selections look great, and I’m going to have to add them to the pile!
I read The House in the Sky, and it was tough, and haunting, and yet so good. I then read The Girl on the Train–and I really liked it, but it wasn’t amazing. I still really enjoyed it though. Otherwise I am reading for school–Mindsets right now. I am going to have to give myself assignments or I will never get through it. It is good, but I want a juicy fantasy or something like that.
I used to fantasize about a 3 week reading residency…someone would offer me a cabin office in the woods just to read books. I really enjoyed Station Eleven as well.
My summer list has been Brother of the More Famous Jack, The Year of the Flood, Funny Girl (Hornby), Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian, and The Queen of the Tearling.
Oh… and a bunch of books about comedy for research including The Humor Code which I HATED – in that way where you have to stop every chapter and need to complain out loud to anyone within the sound of your voice how ANNOYED you are.
Ah, I just applied (again) to Hedgebrook. I am so glad you’re there. I did sort of hate A Little Life. I did love A God in Ruins, I hope all of what you’re reading is satisfying.
Yes! That is for sure a particular type of hating a book, in which I drive everyone around me crazy complaining about it.
I hope the others are more fun.
I have not heard of The House in the Sky, I am intrigued….
Thank you for feeling my pain. And for what it is worth, I am very much enjoying Judd Apatow’s new book of interviews with comedians “Sick in the Head” while I put off a dry analysis of joke theory.
I love getting books that have been overlooked into the hands of people that might appreciate them. Sometimes I think new books should be put on a shelf for a year or two to determine if they really are worth reading… No one else but my book group has ever read Homestead so spread the word and we’ll form a cult or something. 😉