i’m currently absorbed with fin & lady. i found it immediatly engaging which was a welcome relief.
i finished where’d you go, bernadette in a blaze of glory. fantastic, unusual, v.v. funny. alas, it was over too quickly and i had to say goodbye to the brilliantly anti-social bernadette and trudge off in search of new reading material.
i stumbled around reading sample after sample. the worst being seating arrangements. don’t even think about reading that book unless you have the need to punish yourself for something. there, i warned you. why i read half of it before deciding it was uncannily stupid is beyond me. oh wait, i know why i did that. an NPR review got me excited. the last time i fall for their promise of “droll” or “whipsmart and engaging writing.” the last! i personally thought this amazon reviewer’s words were more on target:
The author must be well-connected to gain the glowing editorial endorsements of this drivel, masquerading as satire. made me wish for a few of winn’s painkillers.
couldn’t agree more!
i also read steal like an artist recently and thought it was quite good, albeit short. if you have a couple of hours to spare i’d recommend it.
still cove journal was charming and reads like the social column of a small town newspaper. refreshing and old fashioned. and the crab dip recipe towards the beginning was yummy.
oh, i almost forgot! i think i’m the last person on the planet to read a maira kalman book. sheer enchantment and when i was at the carwash with my sketchbook this morning i pretended i was her.
i read the principles of uncertainty from cover to cover in a couple of evenings on the back patio. such a pleasure for so many reasons. found it for 1 cent on amazon used! i also picked up some of her others and can’t wait to receive them. thank you lisa for ordering me to get these. i love to be bossed around!
if you’re reading something currently that doesn’t require painkillers and/or isn’t romance or science fiction, do chime in!.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey is magically beautiful!
I am also totally engrossed in The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti. It is one of the most amazing nonfiction books I have read along with Moby Duck : The True Story of 28,000 Bath Toys and the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author Who Went in Dearch of Them by Donovan Hohn.
Ok some recommendations of fabulous writing:
David Almond – Skellig, Jackdaw Summer in fact anyhting he writes is pure gold. His books tend to be classed as young adult but he writes for everyone believe me.
Old but goodie… I Captured the Castle by Dodie Smith is wonderful if you havent read it. The movie sucks though imho.
The Wonder Boys – Michael Chabon
Living As Moon – Short stories by Owen Marshall
Alice Hoffman… Everything she writes is pure magic…
Just a few of my must reads…
These is My Words (PS) by Nancy Turner……I’m reading it for the second time around. The story is written in a fictionalized diary format based on the author’s great grandmother’s real life experiences in the Arizona and New Mexico territories. The story keeps you wanting to know more about this remarkable woman’s life.
Mallie Nazzaro says
The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama……….The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate…….and Thornyhold by Mary Stewart………..love……….
Violet Cadburry says
I just finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hour Bookstore – read it in one day so obviously I liked it. Being a non-techie some of the stuff seemed like sci-fi to me. Also finished Tell the Wolves I’m Home. thought this was okay, but not great. And, I am trudging through Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. I loved his Pillars of the Earth, but this isn’t as good. I keep picking it up and having to re-read parts to reacquaint myself with the story, but maybe that’s because I need to keep a cocktail near while reading this one. Also read a Jackie Collins book which I can’t remember the title but it was really stupid so I don’t care. I don’t know why I persisted in finishing it — the sex parts weren’t entertaining at all.
Yes~Ready Player One is quite good. It’s a story that relies heavily on 1980s culture and I loved it. Also, I just finished The Cuckoo’s Calling and quite liked it. So happy you enjoyed Bernadette – I have recommended to everyone this summer. Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store is fun, and the Craig Johnson books behind the hit show Longmire are great as well. Because I’m going to Normandy, I read The Normandy House. And I read Beautiful Ruins which I enjoyed but it was not what I was expecting. BUT IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE UNFINISHED WORK OF ELIZABETH D – GET TO IT. And Learning to Swim. Truly enjoyed it.
Hope the sabbatical is going swimmingly – love reading about your exploits!
Over and out 😉
cathy bluteau says
Love these posts – always looking for a good read. Going to find Maira Kalman
I am reading Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. It is a great story and very readable. If you are like me and like to be entertained by a good story with interesting characters, and enjoy beautiful writing, you’ll love this. There are a couple times I have gasped out loud at the twists and turns of the story. I haven’t finished it so I hope the ending doesn’t disappoint. I checked it out from my local library online and love the digital reading. It is such an economical way to read if you read a lot.
Kathy Wipff says
Maira Kalman! So glad you found her. If you are in a library or bookstore (does anyone go anymore?) check out her children’s books. My kids actually introduced her to me as they produced plays in high school based on her “Max” books. “Max Makes a Million,” “Ooh La La, Max in Love.” Delightful! Both the play and her books.
Mary Sullaway says
Hello Mary Ann,
I am a huge follower of yours and have taken a few of your classes. I look forward to your blog with great anticipation! I’m also technologically challenged and don’t do well with finding the right place to post comments. I did, however, want to recommend a couple of books for you from the same author. His name is Markus Zusak and he has written “The Book Thief” and “The Messenger”. I loved both books, but enjoyed The Book Thief more. The author is a true wordsmith and can turn a phrase so beautifully. The Book Thief is a little darker than I usually enjoy, but it is written with such craftmanship that it was hard to put down.
I have also taken some of your recommendations and read Harold Frye as well as the Heretic’s Daughter. I enjoyed both very much.
Also, have you read “Ready Player One”? It’s kind of sci-fi and normally I would never have considered it, but my best friend in the world insisted I read it. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve read in a very long time! There is a lot of tongue in cheek stuff and things that a child (the mom of one of those children) of the 80s can relate to. (I hate ending a sentence like that!)
Brave me. I’m going to type this out loud. I just finished “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” by Robert Galbraith/J.K.Rowling, and really did enjoy it. The story picked me up and carried me along. It’s not “Ray Donovan,” though. Oh, and I never did read any of the Harry Potter books, nor did I see the movies.
I loved Finn & Lady and Where’d You Go Bernadette too. Maria Semple also wrote “This One Is Mine” which takes place in Los Angeles. Don’t know if you like reading books that take place where you live. Maria lived in LA for a while before moving to Seattle. I have this book but haven’t started it yet.
Just read a few that I enjoyed…The Stolen Dog by Tricia O’Malley (about a woman and her husband that refused to give up on getting their dog back), The Midget House by Anita Bartholomew (about a woman who inherits a house that is supposedly haunted by a midget from the circus), and A Pledge of Silence by Flora J. Solomon (about a female service nurse in the Phillipines during WWII). Got them all for free from Pixel of Ink or Bookbub.
Erin Perry says
Two wonderful books I’ve read this summer(among dozens) are Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett. The first is an amazing tour de force of how lives are changed by split second differences, set during the first half of the 20th century, somewhat akin to Run Lola Run or Sliding Doors, but so expertly handled and beautifully written that I honestly feel it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. The Bookman’s Tale is for all of us who love books, art, English villages and a bit of a mystery. So here’s your recommendations from your local librarian!
Erin in Morro Bay
I’m reading Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Murullo. I’ve had this book in my TBR stack for years and I’m just now getting around to reading it. You may have already read it. It is a hoot and a holler. Otto Ringling gets hooked into driving his *crazy* sister’s guru (Rinpoche) across the country. Lots going on .. showing American fun to the Rinpoche (miniature golf, bowling, baseball) and the slow *awakening* of Otto.
I can relax now: you didn’t hate Still Cove (though I giggled when I saw you got it as it is such an idiosyncratic and place-specific love of mine that I assume others wouldn’t get) and you found Maira Kalman. Who knew you didn’t know her??
I have been a book-buying fool since I went on vaca and will update the blog in a few weeks for autumnal reading.
Trying to write my own book and finish up my samples for a class in the fall.
And drooling over your sketchbooks as always.
Caravan Thieves by British novelist Gerard Woodward is quirky + a fun read if you like short stories.
You must read his trilogy about the Jones family. I was totally engrossed in these books-the quirkiness. The sadness. The unbelievability. The believability.
-I’ll Go to Bed at Noon
-A Curious Earth
I do not read romances or science fiction either. I also did not care for Eat, Pray, Love. But I’m not supposed to say that out loud. Does typing it out loud matter?
Pauline Clark says
I’m adding these to my “to read” list. I’m currently reading The Interestings but haven’t quite decided if I like it. The one thing I dislike is how extremely long the chapters are PLUS my Kindle tells me how many damn minutes I have left in the chapter. I think I’d rather have % than minutes. How do they know how fast I read anyway?
Susie LaFond says
Adored Steal Like An Artist and have picked up The Principles of Uncertainty on the verge of buying it so many times, guess I should just quit sitting on the fence and get with the program as I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book. I think you’ve just convinced me to wander over to Amazon for a look. I also want so much to read Still Cove, it sounds delightful.
I’m reading The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. Part of the novel takes place in the 70’s when the characters are teenagers and some of it is very familiar in a ‘teenager in the 70’s’ kind of way. Funny and a tad melancholy at the same time. I have The Good House and Where’d You Go Bernadette on my night stand, now it looks like I might have to add a couple more.