Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Latest reads and Edith Wharton

Diana Gabaldon's Outlander started out as a book I thought I could easily sink my teeth into, but about halfway through I started to lose interest. I so wanted to like the book too knowing that there are several more in the series. There is nothing better than finding an author or character you love and knowing that once you finish one book there is another to follow. Maybe I'll try Outlander again some day when there are fewer books in my TBR pile that I am eager to get to. But will that ever happen?

Running with Scissors was another one I read recently. I had seen the movie trailer and thought hmmm...with all of the hype the book has gotten I should read it before seeing the movie. It certainly was a book I could not put down- it was like watching a train wreck. You know you should look away, yet you can't. Now that I've read the book though, I'm not so sure I will go see the movie. The squalor Augusten Burroughs described living in while staying at the Finches house was nauseating. People not bathing, roaches everywhere, bizarre habits of Dr. Finch himself- such as his toilet readings (what the hell was that?), and most appalling of all- the good doctor's assistance in helping a 14 year old Augusten fake a suicide attempt so that he could avoid school and spend more time with his 33 year old boyfriend. And adults are supposed to be the responsible ones??

After Running with Scissors, I decided I needed something lighthearted and turned to Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes. Being entertained by many of her previous books and hearing her speak (incredible woman btw), I thought her latest would be just what I needed to help me forget Running with Scissors. While not the upbeat novel that I thought it would be, Anybody Out There is still a charming story of the second youngest Walsh sister. ***Spoiler warning! Anna's attempts to connect with her dead husband Aidan through spiritual mediums is heartbreaking as she picks up the pieces of her life. Her outspoken sisters and slightly zany parents inject some humor into the novel and help make for a great read. With 200 pages left to go, I am already sure that this one will be circulated rapidly among my social circle.

Next up is a collection of short stories by John Cheever and The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. After a recent visit to The Mount, I find myself on an Edith Wharton kick and have been rummaging used book stores for all of her works. If you've never been, her Lenox, Mass estate is worth the trip. Wharton's personal library collection was recently purchased by The Mount and brought back to her estate as part of the restoration. The gardens are beautiful and the estate's setting is idyllic.

Need to figure out what to take away with me this weekend. What would be a great read for a weekend of camping/white water rafting in the Maine wilderness? Any suggestions? I'm all ears.

4 comments:

Amanda A. said...

House of Mirth is one of my favorites. Happy Reading!

I Buy Books said...

Hey--found your blog because apparently we've both been quoted on LibraryThing's buzz page. I started checking out other blogs and found yours. Looks like we both started blogging because of LibraryThing.

I've never read the Gabaldon books, but my mom loves them. Give it another try some time -- I think it will be worth it.

I love Edith Wharton. Hope you enjoy House of Mirth too!

Kate S. said...

I've just begun reading that same John Cheever collection and I'm blown away by how fabulous his stories are. I look forward to hearing what you think of them.

patricia said...

Hey! I've got that Cheever book, too! I agree with Kate; his stories are indeed fabulous. Though I find that I can only read them in small batches, because he does tend to write about the hopelessness of middle-class existence quite a bit, and after a while I found it quite overwhelming.