I used to be an excellent blogger. Loquacious even. These days I’m lucky if I think about it once a week. Sometimes I have nothing to say. Sometimes I have everything to say, but I can’t talk about it here. And sometimes I wonder if anyone is still reading.
Regardless, I’ve had a few posts bouncing around in my head for the last few weeks.
What are you reading?
This year I have gotten back into reading in a big way. Part of it has been the influence of my knitting group which has become a book group of sorts. I’ve also started using Goodreads and reading more books electronically. And now my local library has e-books so I can borrow books without having to go anywhere! I’ve spent the better part of the last year devouring the following series:
* A Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin: Earlier this year I noticed everyone talking about this series. I later learned it was because HBO had started a series called Game of Thrones. So I followed the crowd and picked up the first book and was immediately sucked in. The setting is in a medieval world with touches of magic. The story line follows various characters in several different families as they play the “game of thrones” to determine who the new king of the seven kingdoms will be. I’m currently devouring book #4 and eagerly anticipating book #5 which was just released recently.
* The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward: My knitting group affectionately calls these “vampire porn.” The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a group of warriors fighting to save the world from the evil Lessers. Each book in the series (we’re up to 9 and eagerly awaiting #10) chronicles one of the brothers; his life story and how he meets his mate. The stories are a bit formulaic sometimes, but the books have the right mix of danger, vampires and romance.
* Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Under the category of “I can’t quit you” is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Outlander (the first book) features Claire, a young nurse, who visits Scotland with her husband on a post-war honeymoon shortly after World War II. Near Beltane she finds a circle of rocks, and is strangely drawn to them. When she gets close, however, she is sucked through the rocks and deposited 200 years into the past. For the remainder of the book Claire is torn between returning home to her husband, Frank, in the 1940’s and staying in the 1700’s with Jamie, a Scotsman who protects her.
Other books I read this year and enjoyed:
* The Help by Kathryn Stockett: I didn’t expect to enjoy this one as much as I did, but I truly think it might be the best book I read all year. Beautifully written, poignant and at times terribly hard to read, this book tells the story of what it is like to be a black housemaid in the south in the 60’s.
* A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: The first book in the series, A Discovery of Witches is about a young woman, Diana Bishop, who has spent all her life denying what she is, a witch. But she can deny it no longer, as she is one of the most powerful witches that exists and all the other races are seeking her out. As she comes into her own, she meets vampire Matthew Clairmont, and the two travel through time and space to keep her safe.
* The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman: A collection of vignettes about a group of eccentric and flawed individuals working for a newspaper in Rome. The chapters volley back and forth between historical snippets of how the paper has evolved and the lives of each of the individuals working there now. The stories are amusing, poignant and at the same time claustrophobic. It is compelling to read, and also leaves me feeling melancholy, which I suspect was precisely the author’s intent.