Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What I'm reading

The (very) astute among you will notice that I recently added a "What I'm reading" feature to my sidebar. I like this idea and plan to keep it; the only problem is that the sidebar stuff doesn't show up in a normal blog search. So if someone is looking for information on, say, whether or not Richard Lewis's latest novel is worth reading, they won't find my glowing recommendation. So from now on I'll post each one here in the main section before I move it to the sidebar.

Today, however, I'm going to post all of them. (By the way, if it seems like I love everything I read, it's because I won't post about the books I don't like. Besides the fact that I don't need the bad karma, I just don't believe anyone really needs me to tell them what not to read. I'll leave that to cranky book critics.) Here goes:

WILD FIRE by Nelson DeMille
How could I not love a thriller about a group of right wing maniacs who plan to save civilization by nuking several million of their enemies (and, by default, a few hundred thousand of their allies)? Especially when it contains hilarious paragraphs like this:
Kate and I made it down to breakfast on Sunday morning, and our fellow guests turned out to be no big surprise: the usual collection of cool oenophiles from Manhattan--in this case, three couples of indeterminate gender who took everything very seriously, like they were auditioning for National Public Radio. I couldn't tell if they knew one another, or who was with whom, or if they'd recently all met at an anti-testicle rally.

THE KILLING SEA by Richard Lewis
Because it's by Richard Lewis, this gripping young adult novel about the tsunami is so much more than a heart-thumping page-turner. It's about family, culture, religion, redemption, love and God. I'm eager for my children to read it, and recommend it to all adults, as well.

THE MEPHISTO CLUB by Tess Gerritsen
I'm not ordinarily drawn to mysteries, but Tess Gerritsen is one of the only blockbuster authors who blogs about the publishing business--offering smart and generous insights--so I wanted to see what she was about. I read VANISH, which I liked very much, and now I'm about halfway through THE MEPHISTO CLUB, which is riveting. And it's more than just a clever plot. The writing is as tight as it is elegant, and characters are so well developed. No wonder her books sell in the bazillions. She's that good.

In addition to reading novels, I usually have a book of short stories going. To me it's like leaving a box of chocolates out so that I can indulge myself now and then. Tom Saunders's gorgeous collection, BROTHER, WHAT STRANGE PLACE IS THIS?, is like the finest, most nuanced truffles. Each story has its own flavor and delights me in a different way. My favorite so far is "His Mother's Voice." If you're a short story fan, please rush to pick this one up--it's about to go out of print.


spyscribbler said...

"indeterminate gender"

I just love that! LOLOL ... I keep walking by this book, but now I want to pick it up. Thanks!

Ellen said...

Spy, I'm about a third of the way in and utterly hooked. Hope you'll pop back and let me know how you like it. (Btw, I met Nelson DeMille not too long ago and he was so gracious, despite the fact that I forced him to accept a copy of my pink-covered book as a gift!)

Myfanwy Collins said...

Nice, Ellen! I have Tom's book on my shelf to read (I do so love his stories!) and I need to get a copy of Richard's. Will check out the others, too!

Ellen said...

Great, Myf. You won't be sorry!

Tribeless said...

Yes, Tom's collection is the best short story collection on my shelf. Been a while since I read it now, but from memory, my favourite story was 'Blue Ragout'. And the story of the title was also exceptional.

Mark Hubbard