I really and truly and trying to get back into blogging regularly. As I mentioned in my last post, I'll be posting my lists of books read in 2007 at the beginning of the new year, in the meantime I thought I'd share a bit of what I have been reading lately.
A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber
My mom picked up this book from the take-a-book-leave-a-book shelf at a hotel she stayed out while on vacation in Hawaii. It is the sequel to A Shop on Blossom Street, a book I read and enjoyed before I started knitting. These books are really feel-good reads; things always seem to turn out OK in the end. And, sometimes that's exactly the kind of book you need to read. I have to say that I liked this book even more than the first and I am sure it is because I am a knitter now. The narrative focuses on four women who are all involved in a beginner sock knitting class (I started my first sock only 2 days ago - it's going really well, though I think it'll end up pretty baggy). I found Courtney, the teenager, particularly sympathetic and how she was able to deal with her weight problem inspired me to be better about exercising myself.
How I Fell in Love with a Librarian and Lived to Tell about It by Rhett Ellis
Russell and I happened across this book and were intrigued by the title. Russell read it quite a while ago and was not impressed, but he made me hold on to it to read for myself anyway. I picked it up at one point and gave up pretty quickly, but my second attempt was successful. I didn't really care for the book though. I think the author was trying a little too hard to be quirky and I really disliked the ending: the main characters live happily-ever-after, but there is no real resolution to the issue that was keeping them apart.
Maisie Dobbs mysteries by Jacqueline Winspear
I read and reviewed the 4th book in the series, Messenger of Truth (see review), last year and am finally catching up on the earlier episodes in the series in preparation for book 5. This month I've read Maisie Dobbs and Birds of a Feather, and I'm currently reading Pardonable Lies. I really like Maisie as a character (even though her rise from servitude seems a bit implausible) and her adventures in psychological crime-solving. Winspear does a good job of incorporating period detail and through the novels I've learned a good deal about WWI and post-war Britain.
The Silent Raga by Ameen Merchant
I picked up this debut novel last summer at BookExpo Canada. It tells the story of two sisters and the event that splits their family in two. I liked how Merchant juggles the past and present and keeps the reader guessing about exactly how certain things came to pass until close to the end. I also appreciated how he incorporated aspects of South Indian music into the narrative especially since it is such a big part of Janaki's life and character. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, but I will say that the proper Brahmin family disapproving of the marriage of the older sister hit a bit too close to home for me.
Zorro by Isabel Allende
I listened to the unabridged audio version, read by Blair Brown (audio books are great for knitting). I love Allende's writing and young Zorro's story was compelling, though listening to the audio it did seem at times like the book was going on endlessly.