January 10, 2010

The triumphant return of...

Booklove! Finally. And there is much to report.

So. Since my last post (before Christmas, seriously? It felt like it was just a couple of days ago), there has been a flurry of reading.

I finished Lost in a Good Book, which was great. Jasper Fforde has an incredible imagination, and what seems like a pretty deep working knowledge of great literature. I can't help but wonder if he is truly that knowledgeable on these things, or if he has to look them up as he goes along. To be honest, it results in fun, funny books, so I'm happy either way. Even if you haven't read any of his books, you should go check out his website, Fforde Grand Central. Most of it does tie into the Thursday Next series, so if you think you might be interested, take a look.

After I finished that, I re-read a book from my youth (she said, as if she were in fact much older and wiser than her actual age of twenty-three), Patricia Wrede's Talking to Dragons. It's the fourth and last of her Enchanted Forest series, and for reasons I couldn't explain even if I tried, it's my favorite of the four. I've always loved the way she plays with the fairy tale conceits and cliches in these books. Every time Boy-Creature tries to call me a princess, I get this urge to make him sit down and read them immediately, so he can see just what kind of princess I am. Cimorene is a fantastic female role-model, as are Morwen and Kazul, for that matter. One of these days I will make him read those.

The reason I read that, though, instead of finishing The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, is because it was usurped by my mother. She stole my book and started reading it, and then wouldn't give it back the whole time I was visiting her. Sadly, though, she didn't have time to finish it before we came back to Texas, and I wasn't about to leave it with her when I hadn't finished it either. And I was reading it first! So there!

So I've finished it since coming back. And it was incredible. Boy-Creature just kept asking me if it deserved the Pulitzer, and I think I can safely say it did. I mentioned before how the history and pop-culture were so skillfully twined together. It only got better and better. It's an absolutely stunning story. This is one of those books I'll still be telling people to read years from now, I can tell. Go read it, even if you're not particularly interested in comic books, or WWII history. I'm not, and I loved it. Go read it.

And now that that's done, I went back to the library. I got Four Letter Word: Invented Correspondence from the Edge of Modern Romance, which is a book I heard about awhile ago on Neil Gaiman's blog, and I had been meaning to track it down ever since. When I just happened upon it at the library, I grabbed it without a second's thought. I'm only a little ways into it, but I'm enjoying it so far. It's amazing how many things "love letter" can mean. So much more than just "How do I love thee?"

The other thing I got was a collection of short stories by Julie Orringer called How to Breathe Underwater. Boy-Creature immediately approved of my choice, because the cover photo shows three young girls swimming in a river in their underwear, and he says one of them looks like me. She kinda does (which I did not admit to him), but that's not really the point. The stories are the point, and the stories were very, very good. From the very first, very gripping story, I was enrapt. I finished them all within two days. My favorite was the story from which the book takes it's name, "The Isabel Fish."

So that's where I stand now, reading Four Letter Word while Happy Alchemy and Reading the OED are still trailing behind as well. Maybe by next week I'll be onto something entirely new. What a lovely thought. I wonder what I'll read next?

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