I haven't written in my blog for awhile. I think I felt a bit guilty since I didn't write the best books I read in 2009 post that I had promised. I had planned to do a whole long post and suggest books for each category. Now that January is almost over I think I'll skip that until next year. To assuage my guilt I will say that the best book I read was The Help, followed closely by The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
I did read some wonderful books in December, after being on a bit of a unintentional literary fast.
In the warmer weather I have so many outside chores that reading can get shoved aside a bit. But snowy days seem to be custom made for reading. I've been fortunate enough to have found some very good books to read this month.
1. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - This book reminded me of The Secret Garden, which I read to my children many years ago. In fact, the author of The Secret Garden makes an appearance in the book. Some people didn't like how the book goes back and forth in time and found it confusing. I didn't find this to be a problem. Like the stories told by one of the characters, this book almost seemed like a fairy tale.
2. Beowulf on the Beach by Jack Murnighan. This book has encouraged me to try to read War & Peace and conversely let me know which classics I definitely want to skip. Fun and accessible, but raunchy sometimes.
3. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. I had the absolutely best art history teacher. Through him I was introduced to so many artists and architects. Frank Lloyd Wright was one of my favorites and I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It encouraged me to pull out some of my books and look at some of the houses he designed.
4. Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. Wow.
5. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. I enjoyed this but in retrospect I'm not completely sure why. A novel about an artist's obsession, it did mention and discuss many different painters, particularly in the impressionist era. Aha, that is probably why I liked it so much. Kostova also wrote The Historian, which was another novel I really enjoyed, but not everyone I recommended it to did care for it. Kostova writes beautifully, and I think that alone makes her stories compelling.
I'm currently reading another novel that I love, but I won't finish it until February. It's so good I might create a separate blog post just to review it.