In between my fits of shape-shifting, vamping, otherworldly adventures, I do try to stay abreast of what’s hot in the bookstores — and begrudgingly with Oprah. Here’s a quick headline on my latest reads, though being my latest read doesn’t necessarily mean newest to print. And if you have a Nook, I’m happy to lend one to you!
- The Help (Kathryn Stockett): I know, I know… Where have I been? But better late than never. It was a read that offered a nice, slow build through the eyes of each of its characters. And the build was worth it. The author weaved a nice mix of cultural and racial education that drew me in, embarrassed me, shamed me, engaged me, and brought me joy. It’s a definite must-read.
- Hostage Zero (John Gilstrap): Shoot ’em up, knock ’em down, kill a few, all in the name of building a better life for orphans of criminals. It’s black ops for the bleeding heart. That would be me. It’s plane fodder, and beats the hell out of a lame copy of US Weekly or People.
- Out Stealing Horses (Per Petterson): Now I know why book reviewers call a story haunting. Because it stays with you. Makes you wonder about the life of an individual who only exists on paper. That’s a beautiful thing. It’s a generational story that will ring true to any son who understands the influence his father had on him, but never understood the man, and then watches that influence wash over those in the following generation. I highly recommend it.
- Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen): Again, I’m late to the game, but so glad I finally got to it. Another story wonderfully told through past and present glimpses of a 93-year old man. Confined to a wheelchair in an assisted living home, his mind roams through his unbelievable life on the road with the circus during the depression. Such a great portal. I loved being there with him and fell in love with his character. The author’s notes confirmed that the roots of the story are based in historical fact, which always thrills me. Fictitiouis characters bring real adventures to life are a favorite of mine, as is now this book.
Oh, and yes, volumes 9 – 13 of Anita Blake, Vampire Slayer were stellar. I won’t deny it.