On December 28th, Joyce Poggi Hager who writes Musing Off the Mat posted a list of her favorite books of 2015. I have tremendous respect for Joyce’s writing and assumed her taste in literature would be just as impressive. It is a wonderfully eclectic catalog of titles from Historical fiction to humor, mystery to memoir. With the printed post in hand, I started working my way through her suggestions.
When she published the list I was wading into The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I downloaded it in desperation for something to read one night. But when Annie’s Mom sent me a hard copy saying it was too depressing for her taste, I gladly switched. Hardcover books are treasures to me. The story was tough. I fought my way through it not liking any of the characters and despairing of ever being surprised by the story line. That said, many friends loved it so to each his own.
Grasping from something that would “take me away”, I downloaded All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and instantly regretted it. Such a fascinating tale and so gripping, I wished I had bought the real tome so I could pass it on. The e-book is just not as friendly to my imagination, wished I could turn the pages and smell the ink. I loved the twisted and turns, the connections, all the characters and hated for it to end.
In Mid-January, Lauren and I went to lunch at a café in the local bookstore. I had Joyce’s recommendations and the used section had just gotten in an unblemished hardcover of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Joyce’s review noted sticking with it through the Las Vegas scenes as they are important later in the story. I honestly had no trouble sticking through any of this story. Though the subject is tough and the main character’s life is fraught with sadness, the author’s ability to get inside the mind of the boy is uncanny. I’ve no doubt it will someday be a blockbuster major movie on the strength and ingenuity of all the players in this tale, but a movie can never capture Tartt’s depth of writing when she takes us on this bumpy ride. The end may disappoint some, as Theo, the main character addresses the reader, but I saw such wisdom and commentary of life in his thoughts. Best of all? An almost new hardcover edition with creamy, thick pages.
My most recent visit to the bookstore yielded two more titles from the list; One Plus One by JoJo Moyes and David Benioff’s City of Thieves. Both are paperback versions but fairly new and printed well enough for me to curl up in bed with at the end of the day. Moyes didn’t captivate me quickly enough so I’ve jumped into the City of Thieves.
I could go to the library. My work-study scholarship money for college required hours in the library. I know the dewy decimal system, though I doubt that is even still in use, same outdated learning as cursive writing. But books are like food to me. I want to own it, hold it, mold my mind around it with no time limits.
Thanks again for the list Joyce, I am having a great time indulging my love of inspiring writing.
What are you reading?