- Alan: What are you reading?
- Me: The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.
- Alan: A lot of books sound like you wrote them.
Eva Luna by Isabelle Allende
Gets more beautiful every time I read it. It’s less like reading a book & more like being told a story by someone who understands that truth is subjective & magic’s a question of perspective & the only valid religion is words. It skips along & barrels forward in turns & you’ll end up narrating your own life in her voice for days.
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Maybe it’s because since reading (& being disappointed in) Shiver I’ve read & adored the Raven Boys, or maybe it’s because I wasn’t in the right mood when I read Shiver, or maybe it’s because Linger is a better book, but I enjoyed this book a lot.
I think the addition of Isobel & Cole as narrators makes a nice contrast to the very clean-cut & slightly boring Sam, & I felt a lot warmer towards Grace in this book too - she becomes a lot more rebellious, angry & realistic. I still love Mercy Falls as a setting, & the chill in the air you can practically feel coming out of the pages. A very enjoyable read.
Not Lost by Sarah Maria Griffin
Full of quiet observations, good wisdom, dry wit & really good words about leaving home, about the domesticity of a new place, & the importance of food & streets & ordinary adventures. I had several serious bursts of emotional recognition, & I cried a couple times, & I laughed a couple more. This is beautifully written & made me miss all the people I love who’ve left home.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
This is so incredibly gorgeous & smart & heartbreaking & I always get invested in the lives of fictional characters but there’s something about the ones in this story (especially in the story-within-a-story) that just make your heart hurt.
And it’s about coincidences & parallels & inbetweenery & how we tell our stories & writers block & empathy & Zen Buddhism & not only are there appendices (I LOVE appendices) but there are also metafictional footnotes which are another of my favourite things.
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
It took me a while to get into this one, but once you do it’s swamp-damp & murky & just on the border of unbelievable. I loved the entire Bigtree family, the unsettling magic realism & the really pretty writing.