Saturday, January 31, 2009

Book Love

Not so long ago, if asked about my reading preferences I would have said I prefer nonfiction to fiction. This has started to change beginning with reading "The Road" this summer and "The Senator's Wife" not long after. Cormac McCarthy may not be exactly what first comes to mind for poolside reading but I was captivated. Since then, I've been checking out blogs about books and the joys of reading for pleasure. As a result, I've learned about great books, mostly fiction but some nonfiction too, and have been motivated to read more novels.

Here are some recently read books that have captured my heart:

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

"While the astronauts, heroes forever, spent mere hours on the moon, I have remained in this new world for nearly thirty years. I know that my achievement is quite ordinary. I am not the only man to seek his fortune far from home, and certainly I am not the first. Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination."

This quote is taken from the final story "The Third and Final Continent" which ended up being my favorite. I think this story could be adapted to make a wonderful film.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

"The Revolutionary Hill Estates had not been designed to accommodate a tragedy. Even at night, as if on purpose, the development held no looming shadows and no gaunt silhouettes. It was invincibly cheerful, a toyland of white and pastel houses whose bright, uncurtained windows winked blandly through a dappling of green and yellow leaves … A man running down these streets in desperate grief was indecently out of place."

Such beautiful, bittersweet writing...

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Can't say it better than this from the New Yorker:

"And there in every story, like a tree that’s been blackened by lightning but still leafs in the spring, stands Olive Kitteridge, a retired math teacher who loves her tulips, bullies her husband, and barks at anyone foolish enough to irritate her. You loathe this woman at the book’s beginning; you long for her at its finish."


Jenners said...

Wow! I'm intrigued by all of these! What beautiful and poetic writing!

I'm sorry I've been a bad visitor lately ... I was on vacation and struggling to get caught up with blogging!!! I'm going to spend a few minutes catching up with your blog now ... so if you start to see comments on old posts, that is why!

sherry said...

Hey Jenners,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving all the great comments.

I hope you read Olive Kitteridge and review it because I like reading your reviews.

claire said...

I loved The Road too! That was my first McCarthy and I'm planning to read more..

Revolutionary Road and Interpreter Maladies are on my TBR list. Glad you like them.. we might have similar tastes in books, besides music. :)

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

I can't wait to read Olive Kitteridge...I bought it a few weeks ago and it sits there calling out to me!

Kim said...

I was so bummed that Revolutionary Road did not get nominated for many Oscars. I thought the movie did a fine job of interpreting the book. I've enjoyed all of the discussion about American snobbery towards the subarbs (I'm one of them, it terrifies me). I loved the book, I wish Yates had the ability to write more like it, but then again, I'd be estactic to be able to write one such masterpiece.