I’ve never tried this before, but I’ve always liked the ones I’ve seen on this site. Some people are interested in other people’s clothing, or cars, or houses, etc. I’m interested in what other people are reading, just as so many of you are. Here’s an assortment of what I’ve been reading for the past few months. Some I read right straight through; others I dip into occasionally for a change of pace.
Starting from the bottom:
Its’ Never Too Late to Begin Again, Julia Cameron
I first began reading Julia Cameron’s books in an artists’ book group about ten years ago. She’s all about helping people find themselves through whatever means possible and living their most creative life. Her preferred methods are through art and writing. This is her most recent book and it is about rediscovering your creativity in your more mature years. I love her writing; it pulls me in.
Deep Denial, David Billings
My first exposure to the author was quite recent when I attended a lecture he gave on racism in my town. I was deeply moved by this humble, wise, sensitive man, and his wife, who have devoted their lives to understanding the role of white supremacy and racism in American history and culture, and to sharing their wisdom. I hope to soon be participating in a book group based on this work.
Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
I’ve read several of Gilbert’s books and am impressed by her dexterity as a writer. She can tackle any subject and pull you into her orbit. This one which has been so celebrated since it’s publication didn’t impress me as much as I had hoped. But that may be a result of already having invested several years in the works of Julia Alvarez, who covers similar territory. Nonetheless, I enjoy picking this up whenever I need a change of pace. She’s an engaging writer.
A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini
I read the Kite Runner and really liked it, so I assumed I’d like this book, too. Instead, I loved it. It’s a no-holds-barred look at sexism in the culture of Afghanistan during the time of the rise of the Taliban. The story follows the intersecting lives of two women whose lives are pure drudgery and humiliation. Yet, they persevere. This is a powerful story: Not for the overly sensitive reader.
A Man Called Ove, Frederik Backman
This was a slow starter for me; I’m used to much more intricate writing which I love. But the simplicity of the story and the writing are misleading. By the end, I really felt the knockout punch of this novel, and you will too if you stick with it.
What Remains, a poetry collection by Orel Protopopescu
I recently reread this collection of poetry by an old friend of mine. I liked it when she first gave it to me. I loved it the second time. This is a deeply moving collection of poetic memoirs about the poet’s life and her family, told with great affection and awe for what has come before. Sadly, her beautiful second daughter, featured on the cover, is no longer with us, which makes the poems even more poignant.
LaRose, Louise Erdrich
I’ve saved my favorite for last. I’ve been reading the works of Louise Erdrich for perhaps twenty years. She’s extremely prolific and every book she writes is, to me, a winner.
I am deeply interested in Native American culture, and this writer/Native American woman (hard to say which comes first) weaves her storytelling in narratives that are spellbinding, cooked up with a pinch of Ojibwe language, magic, witchery, despair, ecstasy and plain truth. Her characters are unforgettable. I have just begun LaRose and am savoring every word because I know that the story will just become richer and richer, page by page. And I will fall in love with her all over again.
What are you reading?