Thursday, August 27, 2009

Life and Books Meme

Since I've been laying low the past few weeks, I thought I'd try and get back into the swing of things with a fun meme that I saw over at Of Books and Bikes.

Using only books you have read this year (2009), answer these questions. Try not to repeat a book title. It’s a lot harder than you think!

Describe yourself: My Life and Hard Times (James Thurber)

How do you feel:
The Unburied (Charles Palliser)

Describe where you currently live: Back Bay (William Martin)

If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Harvard Yard (William Martin)

Your favorite form of transportation: Ghost Walk (Marianne Macdonald)

Your best friend is: The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Laurie King)

You and your friends are: The Sunday Philosophy Club (Alexander McCall Smith)

What’s the weather like: The Night Calls (David Pirie)

You fear: The Last Judgement (Iain Pears)

What is the best advice you have to give:
Die Trying (Lee Child)

Thought for the day:
Die Once (Marianne Macdonald)

How I would like to die: One Shot (Lee Child)

My soul’s present condition: Death and Restoration (Iain Pears)

My responses were fairly limited even though I've read 33 books so far. I guess that's what happens when you read the same authors all the time.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Comfort reading

Like my mom's meatloaf, reading a familiar author is comforting. I've been going through a life changing event the past few weeks, but I still crave the written word. I still seek the written word to comfort and placate my worries. My reading meatloaf, yes, my reading meatloaf, is William Martin. Martin's books are full of New England history, incredibly detailed family histories and characters that are oftentimes larger than life. With titles like Harvard Yard, Cape Cod and Back Bay, they may sound a touch prosaic and fluffier than they really are. However, that's a disservice to Martin's skill as a storyteller. Each novel is epic in length and follow a similar format mixing stories lines taking place in the present day and in the past.

Whether Martin searching for lost copies of the American Constitution or tracking down a tea set made by Paul Revere, Martin only uses the 'thing' as a MacGuffin. The true story and the true fun resides in the characters faults, failures and heroics as they chase each other across the New Hampshire mountains, down the cobble stoned streets of old Boston and across the centuries.

With the birth of my daughter a couple weeks ago I couldn't settle on a book to read. Then I saw Martin's Cape Cod on my top shelf. It was perfect. Each time I open the large novel, I smell the salty waters of the Cape and I think of my mother's meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Two weeks later

I'm not getting too much sleep, but I'm hopefully getting back into the reading and writing flow. The first book I'm reading P.B. (post baby) is William Martin's Cape Cod. I've really enjoyed all his other novels, especially Harvard Yard and Back Bay. He's a Boston based writer and being a local myself, I enjoy reading great stories about my 'neighborhood,' i.e. Massachusetts.

On the side I'm reading Laurie King's Justice Hall. I just couldn't stay away from Mary Russell too long.
I knew I liked Lee Child and Jack Reacher for a reason. Here's a quick article abour Lee Child creating a scholarship in Jack Reacher's name. He even has a beer named after him.