Tuesday, April 22, 2008

iRead: more than i should, perhaps

All right, so. I've been reading a lot. This is about all I've done in my spare time apart from the film festival, which took up the first 2 weeks of April. Haven't painted, haven't sewn much. I think I need to work on maintaining a bit better balance. :-)

Either way, the following books have passed through my book-hungry little hands so far this month:

- The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
- I Am One of You Forever by Fred Chappell
- So Brave Young and Handsome by Leif Enger
- Brighten the Corner Where You Are by Fred Chappell
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (i re-read it)
- The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty

As much as it might look like it, I have *not* been just plowing through these. Well, except for maybe Into the Wild because it was hard to put down & I had no energy that day. I enjoyed all of them, but I'll only rave about a few. :-)

One of my favorite books thus far in my life has been Leif Enger's Peace Like a River. Since picking it up several years ago, I've re-read it several times and enjoyed it even more with each read. It's definitely one of my staff picks at work. Needless to say, I've been giddy with anticipation over the release of his new book, So Brave, Young and Handsome. I placed my order at the beginning of this month and then babbled endlessly about it for several days... which led to a co-worker picking up PLR, which then led to the suggestion of a good author by said co-worker, the fabulous Daneen Schatzle. The author = Fred Chappell.

Fred Chappell is one of those authors that makes me wonder what freaking rock I've been hiding under that I hadn't read anything of his before. Or what rock the rest of my world has been hiding under that I hadn't heard of him. So far, I've read the two books listed above, and I will be hunting down more. (Apparently there's poetry too!)

I Am One of You Forever - I picked up this one first, used, for $1. I have not laughed so much while reading a book since Brothers K (David James Duncan)! The book is narrated by Jess, a young boy, and is a series of stories about his family - initially his immediate family, then a series of odd uncles and humorous occurrences. Chappell's storytelling is beautiful, to say the least, and his characters are full and incredibly funny at times!

Brighten the Corner Where You Are - I think I hunted this one down before even having finished the first! Turns out, both of these books are part of a series about the family & specifically the father (?), Brighten being the second. The writing has a different feel than the first, but is still enthralling and humorous. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books...

So Brave, Young and Handsome - Long awaited, finally here! Awesome! I really don't know what to say about it, since "western" conjures up skepticism for me. The story follows the friendship of two men - one a failing writer, the other an outlaw - through the eyes of the former. Enger's storytelling in this second book was just as captivating to me as in his first. He's no longer the author of one of my favorite books, he's a favorite author!

I know, I know... I've been rambling. It's late. I get that way. No apologies, though. Just wanted to share the bookedy love. I'm always open to suggestions too... my list of books I want to read is already out of control, what's a few more? :-D


Aisyrn said...

You have the opposite problem that I do. It seems I can always find enough distractions to keep me from reading, TV aside.

I like these little book reviews of yours, too. Like with music, the two of you keep me up to date with things I should know about that I never would have heard of otherwise.

Miska said...

Winn just bought me So Young, Brave and Handsome, and I can't wait to read it. I'm so glad you liked it! That makes me even more excited. I've been waiting for FOREVER for Enger to write another book since Peace Like a River, which is one of my all-time favs.

Darla said...

I'm glad I read your comments on books. I enjoyed Peace Like a River so much, after starting it at your home in Greenville, that I bought a copy for my three friends in Columbia to pass around (there was only one copy at the bookstore). I'll have to find Enger's new book.