Thursday, April 4, 2013

On My Bookshelf

I know I just wrote about a book a few days ago, but you must understand, I read a lot.  An appalling amount, really.  I go through two or three books a week and my life is still packed with children, cooking, cleaning, working, exercising, and sometimes sleeping.  I read quickly, much quicker than I speak; I only found out that the whole world didn’t read as rapidly I do a few years ago when it became apparent that most of the men in my life (dad, brother, husband) only read as fast as they speak. 


This is not a generalization about men.  Merely that the men in my life seem to share this trait.


They probably retain a lot more than I do, and I think it’s telling that they are drawn to different genres than I am.  I like stories.  I will read nonfiction if it has a good story (well-written history qualifies), but I mainly stick to fiction.  I switch back and forth between “heavier” fiction and fluff.  My brother reads horror novels and both Tony and my dad prefer nonfiction (of the motivational sort, like Goals or the dry, interest-specific sort like The Great Tax Wars) or “dude” books, like Tom Clancy or Clive Cussler novels.


Which is not a generalization about women – I enjoy those books, too – just that I think both of those authors write with male readers in mind.


Back to the main point, I just finished a wonderful book, and I wanted to share.




I don’t entirely know why I’m drawn to stories featuring the theme of redemption so much, but I am.  One of my favorite books of last year was The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt, also largely featuring the theme of redemption.  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is, well, not a story I thought I would adore, but I did.  The main character is a retired English gentleman living a sealed-up, frigid life who does something spontaneous and life-changing because he just can’t handle the unsaid words between him and his wife anymore.  His journey of redemption is a literal journey, an unprepared walk of 500 miles to right a wrong from 20 years ago.  The author tells the story of Harold’s past in snippets of remembrances and letters, so that this ordinary stranger becomes a beloved friend searching for grace and not believing he will find it.  The writing is simply beautiful.


I might tell you about a new book I loved tomorrow or next month; rest assured, I won’t tell you about the hundreds of mediocre ones I read constantly.  Better than a drug habit, right?


Janine said...

I just finished "Book of Summers" by Emylia Hall. It is a wonderful book with a surprising twist that left me both sad and a little angry. Thanks for sharing your good reads...

Sarah said...

Fun! Thanks for sharing!

Amelia said...

Janine, that books sounds intriguing - I just put it on my library hold list. Thanks!