I KNOW WHAT YOU READ LAST SUMMER
While cruising Internet blogs, I scan "Top 10" book lists with interest. Beautiful covers and fascinating premises get filed on my internal "wish list" for future purchases. Although most peopleselect current releases, I take a more leisurely approach to reading.I'm often a few years behind, or at least a season or two-which explains why I was reading Insurgent (for the first time) during my post-run yoga poses this morning.
With this in mind, I'd like to discuss three books I adored lastsummer…
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
This is one book I might read two summers in a row. Despite not liking any of the characters, you couldn't peel my fingers off the pages. I'm curious what I'll think of the ending the second timearound.
What impressed me most about Gone Girl was the intricately structured plot. I kept wondering how the author decided where to insert each chapter. It's hard to describe unless you've also read the book, because to explain my admiration in detail would spoil the plot for the innocent (which I most certainly don't want to do). But in my head, I imagine Flynn sitting at a desk covered in post-it tabs of plot points she would rearrange every day or two, just to get things right.
I've also read Flynn's Dark Places, and I'm holding on to Sharp Objects like some people hoard the good china. I don't want to be without a new (to me) Gillian Flynn book. Eventually I will give in to temptation.
Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
While the gale wind forces of Gone Girl were plot and tension, neither were the case in this charming novel. I'm not saying thatHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet lacked in either aspect,just that the storyline was driven by character development instead.
I absolutely adored Henry Lee, the older Chinese gentleman who was the main character of this story. I rooted for him from page one and cheered for him at the end.
Again, I don't want to give away any major plot points, but the story will remind you of the open-eyed innocence of childhood, and how crushing a blow it is to have that innocence lost.
The book takes its own bittersweet time in relaying the story. This is not a story in a rush. It's meant to be savored.
Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle
Reading this book simply blew me away. The crazy thing is that it's a memoir.
"Truth is stranger than fiction"
I've no idea how Jeannette Walls survived her childhood raised byan alcoholic father and a dumpster-diving, responsibility-shirking mother who uprooted their whole family time after time. The ups and downs (mostly downs, really) of their bizarre escapades will leave you shaking your head in wonder. How on earth did Walls ever get an education? How did she not starve to death? And how did Walls manage to tell her life story in a way that both tore at your heart and made you laugh out loud on the same page?
Truly an amazing book.
Now you know what I read last summer
These three titles weren't the only books I read last summer, but they're the ones I'm most likely to force on my relatives and friends. (I'm only doing this for their benefit, of course.)
Here's a recap:
As an author, I'd love for How to Date Dead Guys to make it on a reader's "top 10" book list. Maybe 2014 is the summer it will happen.