Friday, November 14, 2008

Red Room

No, not "Redrum" from The Shining.... Red Room is an online social network for authors, readiers, literary agents, book clubs. My mom pointed it out to me, and it looks very interesting. Especially the "write a novel in a month" challenge! Very interesting...

Mary just sent me a new supply of New York Times Book Reviews and after reading just one issue, I have a list of at least six books I'd like to read. I don't think my local library is going to be that up to date on English language literature, so I will just have to add them to my notebook and have hope or wait til my next trip to the US or England. But it is amazing how enthralling it can be to read something written about something written and read.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Anita Shreve: A Wedding in December

My mom and I were just talking about how you can get on a reading jag with books by a certain author, voraciously devouring everything they've written and anxiously waiting for the next one to come out. And how, then, inevitably, you get tired of that particular author's books, they start to sound a bit the same, and then you stop being so enthuisiastic when a new book comes out.

The nice thing is, after you've broken up with your author for some time, you can often come back to their books and really enjoy the reunion! You read something new by them again, after a long time, and you remember why you loved their books so much in the first place.

My mom has just had this experience with Patricia Cornwall, I have recently with John Grisham (see below) and now Anita Shreve, with her novel "A Wedding in December" which was published in 2005.

A while back I read everything I could get my hands on by Shreve. I think she is an incredibly gifted writer and a wonderful craftsman of tales. This latest novel did not disappoint me. It follows a group of high school friends, now in their forties, who meet at for the wedding of two of them. They all have had their struggles over the years, some have secrets, some have major health problems and they all still grieve the death of one of their friends back during their high school days.

I certainly can relate to that feeling you start getting as you hit your forties and start ruminating about certain points in your life, the "road not taken", the "what if's", and others of your generation that you haven't heard from in years! This novel explores that for all of the characters - while they all have totally different lives, they are still touched by their shared past. It was a great read.