Well, it’s not even the end of the first month of the year and already I’ve read some pretty amazing books.
“Divisadero” by Michael Ondaatje
This is the first book I’ve read by him and I was utterly transported into his world. The prose is basically hypnotizing and the way he weaves the present and the past and all the different characters is truly spectacular. I slowed down as I neared the end, not wanting to leave the story.
“Embers” by Sandor Marai
I received this during my writing group Christmas book exchange three years ago. I can’t believe it took me this long to pick it up because once I did I could not put it down. It’s a very quiet but intense book. I loved the structure. Much of the story takes place in a dining room and a conversation between two old men who have not seen each other in over forty years. As the dinner unfolds we are dipped back in time, their histories revealed. It raise many questions regarding friendship, loyalty, love. A book to be read again and again throughout a lifetime.
“Cell” by Stephen King
Another first for me. Until now the only book I’d read by him was “On Writing”. I was pleasantly surprised. I am kind of a voyeur of end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it stories. What I enjoyed was reading a story where so much happens. The stories I write and the stories I tend to read involve characters where small things happen physically. Most of the happening is internal. So it was great to see a writer literally move his characters from one place to the next and have big things happen to them and then see how they respond.
“Paint It Black” by Janet Fitch
This book did not disappoint either. I felt totally absorbed into Josie’s world of grief, punk rock, art, L.A., movie making and so much more. Many many layers to this story which I think make the best stories. And there weren’t easy moments. Everything felt earned the hard way. Just when I thought I knew what was coming the story or character swerved, keeping me on my toes which I appreciate.
“You’re Not You” by Michelle Wildgen
I am amazed by this first novel. At first I was leery of Bec, a restless college sophomore sleeping with her married professor but the story is anything but cliché. She takes a job as a caregiver for a woman with ALS. We get a gritty glimpse into the details of living with and caring for somebody with this disease. But so much of the story is hopeful and incredibly sensual.