Way back in March I saw someone somewhere do a blog post–or hop, or meme–asking about the last 10 books you’ve read, and how you heard about them. I started a post on it, then dropped it because I think I got distracted by…well, something…and then ended up forgetting it all together. Well, here I sit on a chilly Monday morning with nothing to write, and I thought, Yeah, I’ll do that last ten books thing. There’s just one problem: I can’t remember the last ten books I’ve read.
Back in March, I didn’t have too much of a problem. I still have that list in a draft, and it’s a nice collection, a fairly eclectic mix of old (On the Beach) and relatively new (The Art of Racing in the Rain), across various genres and styles. And now? Hmm, let’s see. Not counting the one manuscript I beta read for a friend in October, or the one I’m beta reading now, here’s where I’m at:
The Secret History, Donna Tartt. I keep hearing about Ms. Tartt, mostly from agents who say things like, “I’d love to have something like Donna Tartt”, so I grabbed this one from the library. I’m about 2/3 of the way through, and I’ll be honest, it’s been a struggle. This book is very highly-regarded, but it’s not working all that well for me. Still, I hate to put books down unfinished.
The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy. This is a word-of-mouth book, heard about from many people. Roy writes in a really intriguing way, and I enjoy reading about different cultures.
And The Mountains Echoed, Khaled Hosseini. I enjoyed this. A very sad story by Hosseini. This would be word-of-mouth, I guess, or publicity from the publisher.
In One Person, John Irving. I was disappointed. I felt too much like I had read these characters and setting before, and Irving has developed a tendency to lecture about literature. As an Irving fan, I was aware that it was coming out, not sure how.
A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin. I’m amazed at Martin’s characterization and his ability to surprise me. I’m not a big fantasy (if you call this fantasy, I’m not sure) reader, so the fact that I will crack open book 5 of the saga this week tells you plenty.
The Night Strangers, Chris Bohjalian. I’ve enjoyed the three other Bohjalian books I’ve read, but this one fell a little flat for me. This was a ‘found’ book–I ran across it at a rummage sale in the fall. I ‘discovered’ Bohajalian on the shelf of my library two years ago.
And that’s all I can remember. My reading is down a bit this year, in large part because I’ve got a lot of things on my mind that have kind of pushed reading to the back burner. Interesting to me, most of what I’ve read recently I’ve ‘discovered’ by word of mouth, or, in the case of the biggest names on the list (Hosseini and Irving) via the publicity machine of their publishers. What about you? What books have you been reading, and how did you hear about them?