Friday, June 1, 2012
The Off The Shelf Challenge: May Progress and Recommendations
I never thought it'd be this hard to make headway in this Off The Shelf Challenge. I mean, come on! It's reading! I love reading!
But I'm kinda like that dog from the movie "Up." He's talking, having a nice conversation, and then all of a sudden he's distracted - "Squirrel!" Only for me it's not squirrels, it's new books. Oh, that sounds like a good story! Oh, that's from one of my favorite authors! Oh, the Hold list at the library will be sooooo long so I'll buy it but I won't read it now because I already have all those other books waiting patiently on the shelf . . . well, maybe I'll just a peek at the first page or two . . . or three . . .
Challenge Books read in January: 4
Challenge Books read in February: 5
Challenge Books read in March: 1
Challenge Books read in April: 2
Challenge Books read in May: 2
Non Challenge Books read in May: 2
Total Books read in May: 4
Total Challenge Books read so far in 2012: 14
Total Non-Challenge Books read so far in 2012: 13
Total Books read so far in 2012: 27
Standouts from May include:
The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian - Bohjalian takes a traumatized pilot and his family, an old house in New Hampshire, greenhouses, twins, and ghosts and creates this creepy, gothic kind of ghost story. [Side Note: I met Mr. Bohjalian many years ago when he was touring for his book, The Buffalo Soldier, and to this day, I remember how kind and encouraging he was to me when he signed my book and we spoke a bit about writing.]
The Blue Orchard by Jackson Taylor - an excellent example of historical fiction, it starts right before the Great Depression and spans the first fifty years of the twentieth century. It's based on the life of the author's grandmother. Verna Krone is a heroine to be recognized. She's tough and imperfect, and she's someone you can't help rooting for even as you shake your head at another of her bad decisions. The novel covers so many big topics - race relations, politics, medical issues - and yet at its core, it's a story of a woman doing the best she can, the best way she can, the only way she knows how.