"While we are reading, we are all Don Quixote." ~ Mason Cooley

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

For Your Consideration

Having been on vacation in NY - 11 hours each way to get there - and then recovering from the ordeals of travel, I've caught up on some reading these past few weeks.  It's been a curious assortment of books, if I do say so.  But illustrative of my eclectic reading tastes.  Hopefully, something will catch your fancy.  For your consideration:

A Taste of Murder by P.D. James.  With all the unread books I have on my shelves and on my Kindle, it could be argued that I shouldn't spend time rereading a novel.  But I'm glad I decided, on a whim, to revisit this 1986 gem of a mystery by a master of the genre.  James is well-respected for her elegant, intricate plots written as only the best British mystery writers seem capable of, but this go-round I became enthralled as well with her descriptions of place and character.  One of those rare novels I almost hated to finish.  

Walking in This World by Julia Cameron.  This second book in Cameron's "course of discovering and recovering the creative self" has taken me three months to complete, committed as I've been to working with her weekly assignments.  Having read The Artist's Way and The Sound of Paper, I found some of this book to be redundant and might have been tempted to abandon the book were it not for her ability to crystallize something I've been mulling over in a lucid, creative sentence or paragraph...."for most of us, the idea that we can listen to ourselves, trust ourselves, and value ourselves is a radical leap of faith."  Because she continues to make me think, and inspires me to explore creative expression, I plan to continue with The Right to Write.
And I did find many of the assignments, (she calls them tasks), to be interesting and informative.

The History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes.  I'm an unabashed Barnes fan.  Loved The Sense of an Ending and Flaubert's Parrot.  I read this book with members of one of the two book clubs I belong to.  It received mixed reviews, as it is denser and somewhat uneven.  I admit it isn't one of my favorite works of his either.  Would not recommend it until/unless you've read other work of his first.

The Work of Wolves by Kent Meyers.  This past month's choice of book club #2.  Perhaps because it's  western-based fiction, I couldn't get into this novel and did stop after about a third of it.  Then, again, haven't read Lonesome Dove or Plainsong, the novels to which this has been favorably compared.  If you have, and enjoyed them, this might be a worthy choice.

I hesitate to end this way, but....I am always open for other suggestions.  Who knows, I may already own them, as yet unread.