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."