Thursday, December 15, 2011

Recent reads

I have to admit that, based on number of titles, I've been a slacker compared to September and October.  But in my defense, two of these titles were behemoths! 

In particular, Stephen King's latest, 11/22/63 took me the better part of November to finish.  That's not a comment on my feelings for it--I loved every single one of the 849 pages.  But that's a weighty tome, my friends!  Since most of my reading tends to happen on my lunch hour (or in my car on audio, but that wasn't the case here), it just took awhile longer than I might have liked.  Though if I'm being honest, I enjoyed it so much, I wanted it to last.  Writing about the butterfly effect and time travel, King not only did his homework, but also put a LOT of thought into every nuance of the age-old question, "What if?".  Mind-bending, deeply detailed, and with a rather haunting love story in the mix, this is one I look forward to rereading, because I have a feeling it will only get better.  Very highly recommended.

The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson.  This came as a recommendation of a book club friend, who handed me the audio book (19 hours on 16 discs--it kept me company through about 3 weeks of commuting) and said she thought I'd like it.  She was right.  That said, the plot isn't your run-of-the-mill fiction.  A man is reborn through fire, and goes from gorgeous to gargoyle.  But without his looks, profession, or money, he starts fresh and discovers life beyond materialism when a woman claiming to be over 700 years old takes him into her home, and helps him complete his recuperation.  Love story, history, folklore and fairy tale, this story may not be for everyone, but I absolutely loved it. 

The Lady and the Unicorn, by Tracy Chevalier.  I had originally read this when it was first published in 2004, but 8 years is a long time, and the story was surprisingly fresh upon second reading (this time for my book club).  Chevalier, best known for her best-selling book Girl with a Pearl Earring, does here what she does best--takes a work of art, and recreates (well-researched fiction) the creation of that art.  In this case, it follows the weaving of a set of tapestries from Paris patron to artist to a family of Brussels weavers and back again.  Richly detailed and quietly moving, it was just as good as I'd remembered.

And that was it!  Hard to believe it was such a slow month for me, title-wise.  But the holidays will do that to you!  Anyone else read anything they'd like to recommend?  I'd love to know--leave a comment!


Sandra said...

Megan I love reading your recommendations. Thanks for them all. Is your book club taking new members? My book club is slowly fading away and would love a vibrant one to replace (or add) to it.

Megan Norrell said...

Sandra, you are very welcome! The book club currently has room for a new member--we'll be reading A Farewell to Arms for the January 12 meeting (10am in the conference room) if you're interested!

Sandra said...

Oh yes I'd love to join your group and have added it to my calendar - thank so much!