Friday, December 31, 2010

Year's End

Another year flown by. I began to wonder midway through if I'd ever finish another book, but I rallied and have read quite a bit lately.

I lost myself in the hills of North Carolina, thanks to Kathryn Magendie's Tender Graces and Sweetie, and Vicki Lane's The Day of Small Things. Three wonderful, enchanting stories of very memorable female characters and magic mountains.

I completely lost myself in Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy. Lisbeth Salander is the most unforgettable female character I have ever encountered. I haven't rushed heart pounding through books like this since the early days of Clancy or Grisham, with the exception of Justin Cronin's The Passage. I am deeply saddened that the author died so young, and was unable to complete the stories he had in his head. Sadder still that he left no will and his family squabbles over the rights and the fate of his unfinished manuscripts and outlines.

I am slowing down now, jumping from the Smoky Mountains and Sweden to the hills of Ethiopia, reading Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese. The writing in the first chapters is sublime, the story already revealing itself to be something very special. I feel guilty for paying only $5 for it on my kindle, as I'm sure the author deserves more.

There were many books I meant to read this year, but will focus on in the coming months, especially my unread Haven Kimmel, Helen Gilchrist, Anne Lamott and Jeffrey Lent books.
If I had to pick a best book of the year, it would be East of Eden, so thank you John Steinbeck.

Happy New Year and Happy reading to us all.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Kathryn Magendie has written a beautiful tale of friendship and coming of age set in the mountains of North Carolina. Sweetie and Melissa, who live very different lives, become the best of friends in this story filled with love, hope, bravery, mystery and sorrow. The prose and dialect are beautiful, the characters unforgetable, the setting transporting. This is one of the best coming of age tales I have read in a very long time, and I highly recommend this book and this author. I can't wait to read whatever she writes next.