I’ve been plowing through the books during my recovery. Luckily, I’ve stumbled upon some really good reads along the way. Here’s a brief summary of what I read in March:
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, Danielle Evans. This is short story writing at its very best. Short story writing is tough–but these worked–each was a mini masterpiece of story telling. Fiction, 4 stars.
An Object of Beauty, Steve Martin. I really wanted to fall in love with this book, but it just didn’t happen. It’s the story about an ambitious, mostly charming young art dealer who works her way up to owning her own gallery. It’s told through the eyes of a man who clearly loves her but has settled for his role as her friend. There are interesting characters in this book, and I learned a bunch about the art dealer world (book includes color photos of paintings mentioned in the text), but there wasn’t a lot of tension in this book. It just kind of moves along. Fiction, 2 1/2 stars.
Mathilda Savitch, Victor Lodato. Sad story of how a family vanishes within itself after the death of a child and how one girl tries everything she can think of to wake them back up. I didn’t fall in love with Mathilda like so many others did, but I did feel sorry for her. The last scene in the book is brilliant. Fiction, 3 stars.
How To Be Good, Nick Hornby. Lots of bizarre things happen to this family, but if you can just let go, this is actually a pretty good book. It’s about a wife who feels she must learn to be “good” when her angry husband has a spiritual conversion after meeting a man named “Good News.” There are some funny parts in this book, and some just plain weird parts. Fiction, 2 1/2 stars.
The Bucolic Plague, Josh Kilmer-Purcell. Oh, Josh, you are so adorable and charming and cute, even when you’re whining and complaining. : ) Story of when Kilmer-Purcell and his partner purchase the historic Beekman farm in upstate New York. Josh does a wonderful job of sharing all their adventures and misadventures. (Plus you’ll get some inside scoop on Martha Stewart!). Josh is darn-right likable, even when he’s not. Non-Fiction, 3 1/2 stars.
Up From The Blue, Susan Henderson. Gosh, this book was pretty darn sad, but also pretty darn remarkable and very well written. It’s the story of a military dad, a bipolar mom and two kids who lived through the chaos. Decisions are made that seem bizarre at the time until you hear the whole story. This book is told from the point of view of Tillie–a “Scout-ish” little girl. I loved Tillie like I loved Scout–especially when she goes rogue during her role as a brick in the school’s production of Wizard of Oz. Up From the Blue is filled with believable characters and believable sadness. Fiction, 3 1/2 stars.
The Dirty Life, Kristin Kimball. The Dirty Life is an incredibly enjoyable read–page after page. Kristin, a city-living Harvard grad meets a Pennsylvania farmer, Mark, and falls in love. They decide to uproot both their lives and start a farm in upstate New York. Their dream was to create a farm that would provide for every single part of their dietary needs. I found myself rooting for Kristin and Mark from the very beginning. This book makes me want to expand my garden, drink milk from my own dairy cows and raise some cattle just so I can eat their livers (yes, she’s that persuasive!) Non-Fiction, 4 stars.
Have you read anything good lately? I’d love to hear your recommendations–feel free to leave them in the comments! Thanks!!