Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book Report

I'm finally getting back into a full reading routine. For a long time, I couldn't concentrate. I put the book down on my chest and stared into the middle distance. Or at the ceiling. But I have snapped out of it.

Alan Furst is a bloody genius. I adore his books. I would say they are an acquired taste, though, and if you get one in your hands, you might say what is Becky talking about? It's short. The plots are episodic and don't connect. Nothing big big big happens. But keep going, dear reader. You will get hypnotized.

Kingdom of ShadowsKingdom of Shadows is the third or fourth I have read. None of them disappoint. They are stylish and sophisticated, spare and witty. I am planning to read every one.

Map of Home, AThis one is called A Map of Home and it is about a smartass Palestinian girl growing up. Her language is shocking at times, but her journey is familiar and heartrending all the same. I couldn't put it down. Author Randa Jarrar.

I am getting ready to be transported and obsessed by Sylvia Plath and her husband Ted Hughes and his various lovers. But before that, I am now reading

Daughter of Fortune: A Novel (P.S.)Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende. It is very good. I like a book that teaches me things and I am learning about Chile from this book.

Here's a really dumb statement, but I mean it from the heart.

It's truly amazing how many countries there are and how each one has its traditions and slang and landmarks and wisdom. And in each one, a woman's story is similar.

A number of years ago, I kept track of every book I read. I wrote down the plot and how many stars I gave it on a piece of paper (okay, it was a coupon). My car was littered with them. Finally, I gathered them all up, brought them inside, and tabulated them. I made a list. I have that list in the table next to my bed and I'm sorry I haven't added to it in the intervening years. I've gotten sloppy. But here's the point.

Most of the books on the list were written by women.

I guess that means something about me. It's something I shouldn't forget. I'm interested in women and what they do and what they think. And so are other women.

But of course I still like Alan Furst. And John Irving and Tom Wolfe and some of those other whaddyacallits, men.

A bientot




At 4:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am just amazed that women can write.

Bring back the old days - when only men ruled the literature world! Now, these are writers!

At 6:07 PM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

Is that an Orthodox view, anon? Or Absurdist, by any chance? :)

At 9:42 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

I can relate to not being able to concentrate -- I have the same problem and it's one reason I read so little. I do much better when traveling, so it seems to be at least partially due to environment. Often I don't put the book down on my chest until I realize my eyes have been tracking over the same paragraph for a while without any comprehension...

I'm halfway through the Furst book you recommended earlier -- I like it. And when I heard 20 seconds of a strange story on the radio about how a guy "didn't pay umpteen million zloty to end up with a a gay elephant" I knew it was Polish currency! (It's a real story, I see from google news...)

At 10:18 PM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

Keep going, sm--AF books are worth the trouble!

At 2:24 AM , Blogger Kay said...

It's about time I read a little more again - and I am making a beeline for Alan Furst first!

At 7:30 AM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

Oh goody, Kay, I hope you like it! Try Spies of Warsaw! b


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