January 2014

Finally reached the end of the various British novels Michael was sent this year. So many good ones! I'm in a bit of a reading limbo now, though. Not sure what I should start reading as inspiration for my new book. I always read books to inspire me to write. Frankly, I don't trust writers who don't. Especially ones who say they don't want their "style" influenced by others. Whose style wouldn't be influenced to the better by reading Jane Austen or Elmore Leonard or Michael Ondaatje? A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett Sara is a remarkable writer and the combination of her skill and this incredible story make for utterly compelling reading.

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett She's a master of the essay.

Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart Parts of this were hilarious. Snooze city on the psychoanalysis, though.

Helium by Jaspreet Singh I'm obsessed with anything about India so I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Schroder by Amity Gaige I absolutely loved this novel until about page 200, and then for no reason I can figure out, I just put it down.

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan Man, those tormented Irish.

All The Birds Singing by Evie Wyld This book is almost fantastic. It builds beautifully, but what it builds to ultimately disappointed me.

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo This will knock your socks off.

In Pharaoh's Army by Tobias Wolff Only one of the best short stories writers alive today. This is killer.

Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald This was a reread. At once austere and complex. If you haven't read it, you need to just pick it up already.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Michael read this aloud to me and the kids. It's so exciting to watch a child listen to this book for the first time. Blows their minds.