Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Books I'm Lovin' Right Now

I have been devouring books these past few weeks.  One of the huge joys in my life right now (other than time to write) is time to stick my nose in a book and stay there.  And I've been on an unusually good streak of good reading, so thought I'd share some of the fiction I've been lovin' lately.  In the order I have read them in (p.s. the links will take you to well written reviews, whereas my response is much more in the vein of someone going all fangirl on somebody):

The Curfew, by Jesse Ball is stupid good.  I read this for a book club I just joined, and it was my selection. So I was nervous that no one would like it, including myself, or worse, that it would be cheesy and that would reflect on me.  I tell you, this book made me look so badass, I am forever in its debt.  Because it's awesome!  If you can, read it in one sitting (I believe I read somewhere that this was the author's intent).  It will captivate you with its dystopian tale of a father and daughter and one day of their lives.  He is an epitaphorist, crafting beautiful and brief descriptions of a life for gravestones, and she is a mute puppeteer's assistant.  There is murder, imagination and creative use of white space on the page.  I loved it.  

Treasure Island!!!, by Sara Levine was so much fun.  It's the story of a young 20-something woman who lacks any real orientation in life until she seizes upon the classic Treasure Island as a way of life.  She proceeds to try to live her life according to the values present in the book: boldness, resolution, independence and horn-blowing, and she does it all in a delightfully self-absorbed way.  Many things unravel as she lives by the code of the book, most of all her sense of self.  It made me want to go find a shelf of classics in the library, point to one at random, and try to live my life according to it just to see what would happen.

the Leisure Seeker, by Michael Zadoorian.  Now this book made me really, really want to go on a road trip.  It follows a spunky older couple as they travel along historic Route 66, and I imagine the author really enjoyed the research for this book.  By page four I was completely in love with the characters and happy to be along for the ride.  Without any sentimentality, but full of poignant moments of mortality's rude interference on life, this book is like the very best slide show from family vacations you actually want to see.  

Happiness Sold Separately, by Lolly Winston.  This author's dry wit is something to behold (dry wit, of the non-soul-crushing type, is my very favorite kind of wit).  She has written a story where everyone and no one is the bad guy, a compassionate look at an affair and all the complicated things that go into and come out of it, and the crazy struggle to have a baby when your body has decided it's not cut out for such things.  Mine was signed (squeal!!!) at the San Francisco Writers Conference where she inscribed "Good luck with your beautiful work."  This filled me with all kinds of happiness.  

Murder in the Marais, by Cara Black.  This was yet another thrill that I was introduced to at the San Francisco Writers Conference: meeting Cara Black.  I have not read many mysteries (probably too much Murder She Wrote in my childhood), and even less detective novels, but I'm so glad I read this one.  Danger!  Murder!  Intrigue!  Costume changes!  This is the first of the Aimee Leduc detective series, which is fantastic because now I have something like ten more to look forward to.  There are layers of interesting things in this book: history, the aforementioned costume changes as she goes undercover as a neo-nazi skinhead, and place.  Set in Paris in the early 1990s, you can practically smell the baguettes in the background with the use of detail and sensory images.  It was crazy fun to read, and I can't wait to get my paws on the next one in the series.  

Those are my most recent reads that I loved.  Let me know in the comments what you think I should read next!  

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