Hello fellow readers, wow it's been a while and all I can say is I need a whole lot more hours in the day. I've been pretty tied up outside literature world which is by no means an excuse for being so behind in reading and not only applies to novels but additionally my magazine subscriptions. I only have 2 subscriptions but it does not help that one comes weekly. Anyways, no excuses, I have been a slacker. I was going to wait until I had two books to report on but the way things are going that could be a really long time so I at least wanted to post about the one I finished and the one I'm currently working on (I may also add 2 really interesting articles I've read because aside from being a slacker I'm also here to pass on good reads).
So, the book I've actually finished since the last post: "A Visit From the Goon Squad" by Jennifer Egan. This book is a "national best seller" and I'm normally not one to pick up a book just because its popular (no offense if you dig that kind of novel but if that was what I did all I would be reading would be Nicholas Sparks). So this novel was pretty stellar, it clocked in at about 340 pages and I found myself pretty engrossed really quickly. Unbeknownst to me, it followed the same writing style I tend to love, which is where every chaper provides the story from a different characters narrative. I find that books written like this tend to keep my attention more than others, along with keeping me wondering where and when all these "individual stories" are going to converge. This book not only kept me on my toes but kept me wanting more. Once I really got into it (trust, that did not take long) I could not stop and pretty much tore through it as time allowed. Additionally this book took me on a trip I was not expecting and really weaves it's way from the past to the present to the future in a whirlwind. "A Visit From the Goon Squad" is a very well written, very intelligent novel and this is one that I would put on my list of "highly reccomend".
The book I'm currently reading is one that I heard about via NPR(which if you stick around for my nonsense, you'll see that this is the place where I find a lot of book recommendations). The book is "A Widows Walk" by Marion Fontana. I heard about the author via an interview she gave on (I think) Fresh Air that they did for the 10th anniversary of September 11th. The book is written by a widow of one of the first responders (he was a fireman). This book is terribly heartbreaking and I'm not going to lie and say that I don't regularly shed tears as I read a few chapters every few nights. I think this novel has a little to do with my "reading stalemate" and I don't mean that in a negative way, it's just that it's really sad and takes some emotional rejuvenation before diving back in. I've always said I'm NOT a book critic and the book is a bit slow and provides a bit of detail that I don't think is necessary for the read, but regardless this is a really great detail of one person's perspective (make that one person who was almost as close as you can get) to the emotional, family side of 9/11 and I don't recommend for the faint of heart or overly emotional. This book, in a few words, is sad, raw, emotional and incredibly real(albeit a bit "draggy" at points) Read at your own risk.
I was considering discussing/recommending a few magazine articles before I realized that I was going to write my own (dragging) novel of a post, so instead of discussing I'll just say that I REALLY enjoyed the article "Ivan the Recumbent, or Demanjuk In Munich" from the March 2012 Harper's Magazine. I'm probably bias because he immigrated and retired to Seven Hills, Ohio which is very near me and additionally I am obsessed with stories (fictional and non) about WWII, but regardless I'll save the diatribe and just say if you can get your hands on the article it was a very educational, interesting read.
Alright fellow readers, sorry my posts have been few and far between, my goal is to be better and read more. As always please feel free to provide comments or recommendations. I hope your reading is more productive than mine, until next time READ ON!