Rather than just list the books I’ve read in 2008, I thought I’d copy what Tim Hallinan started doing and post about the books I’ve read each month.
Forgetfulness, by Ward Just is a book I picked up while browsing the front table at the Tattered Cover. This was at times a bit slow, but it explored some significant issues with regard to our post 9/11 emotions and views on terrorism and on being an American. I liked Just's narrative style and this book made me want to read more of him.
Josie and Jack, by Kelly Braffet: I bought this one based on Josephine Damian’s review. For anyone who reads Josephine’s blog, you’ll know I was intrigued by her enthusiasm for this one since JD starts far more books than she finishes. She’s a tough critic. I enjoyed the book and I thought it was well plotted and well written.
Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing, Illustrated by Joe Ciardiello. I hesitated to even list this one because it’s only 96 pages and most of them have illustrations or single sentences on them. I bought it when Tim Hallinan referenced it in his Writers Resources pages. It’s quite charming; it cuts right to the chase and is a good book to leave around just to have a quick reminder about some of the fundamentals. This would be the perfect gift for a writer.
Twinkle, Twinkle, by Kaori Ekuni was a book Tim Hallinan read and posted about a couple of months back. I was interested in it primarily because the chapters alternate between the points of view of a married couple. The book was translated from Japanese, so it takes place in
On Love, by Alain de Botton was a book I learned about from this review at The Book Book. It is a novel about falling in and out of love, but it’s written in the style of a series of essays. I loved this book and kept reading passages from it aloud to Scott. He actually read it after I did and he very seldom reads fiction. I adore this author and have recently added four more of his books (all non-fiction) to my TBR stack.
Veronica, by Mary Gaitskill. I found Mary Gaitskill when I was bemoaning the lack of truly flawed female protagonists to Andrea Dupree, the director of my favorite place to learn writing, Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Andrea recommended Mary Gaitskill and I got what I was looking for. This was a gritty novel and when I think about how to describe it, the words that keep popping into my head are “grotesquely beautiful”. If I could craft one sentence as beautifully as Mary Gaitskill does, I would die a happy woman.
How Proust Can Change Your Life, by Alain de Botton. I loved On Love, but this one may have changed my life. In a series of chapters with titles like, “How to Take Your Time”, “How to Suffer Successfully”, “How to be a Good Friend”, and “How to Open Your Eyes”, de Botton explores topics by drawing on the works and the life of Marcel Proust. This is the best book I’ve read in a very long time. I’ve been eyeballing the mammoth copy of Swann’s Way on my shelf and trying to decide how soon I’m willing to tackle it.
The Sky Isn't Visible From Here, by Felicia C. Sullivan is the memoir of blogger and host of Writers Revealed, Felicia Sullivan. The author grew up in
What was the best book you read in January?
A note to my