observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

My Bookmark Rests Between these Pages

So between what pages is your bookmark resting?

One of the great things about reading is the ability to travel to places, experience other cultures, and learn about other lives. I remember someone once said she calls it “theater for the mind” and that is so true. When someone asks me what my favourite book is, I can never give an answer that includes just one book or just 2 or 3 for that matter. There are so many really great novels I’ve read through the years. I’ve read some really interesting ones in the past year and one of the ones I just finished was so well done, I simply had to talk to someone about it. I picked you.

A couple years ago I read Lisa Genova’s first novel Still Alice— wow, that was one dynamite novel. She told the story of a woman with progressing Alzheimers and actually told the story through that woman’s voice. She did a remarkable job. When I finished that novel, I had the feeling of really knowing that person, wondering about her, and knowing a great deal more about the disease with an understanding that I never had before reading the book. So, because Genova told that story so well, I knew I would be reading whatever she wrote next. I finally picked up Left Neglectedand was not disappointed. Again, Genova told the story through the woman’s perspective. I won’t spoil it for you but she had a neurological issue with her brain as a result of an accident. Perhaps not quite as deeply powerful as Still Alice but she still told one heck of a story that required a great deal of research to portray to the reader how the protagonist was dealing with her brain injury. I’m purposely not writing an actual review because there are so many reviews already available online. This is simply my opinion of a well written and worthwhile story if you’re ever looking for an interesting novel to read.

Other novels I’ve read this past year that I’d recommend include:

The School of Essential Ingredientsby Erica Bauermeister

Sarah’s Keyby Tatiana de Rosnay as well as her next one A Secret Kept. Some people didn’t care much for her second one but I have to say if a person didn’t read her first novel (Sarah’s Key) then they would be going into it with not as high expectations because Sarah’s Key was so excellent. The second novel was definitely a worthy read and very good story but most people wanted another blockbuster like her first one. That’s always the problem for an author when their first novel is such a huge success — everyone tends to measure the second one by the first and expects the same cookie cutter result. I guess I look at each book as a separate entity and consider it on its own merit. I’m glad I read both of them and actually look forward to reading her current one, The House I Loved.

Right now I’m torn about which novel to read next. I picked up Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Clubat a used book store (I know it’s ages old but I still have not yet read it). The other one that is sitting waiting for me to pick up is The helpby Kathryn Stocket which so many people saw at the movies — I picked that book up at my local LittleFreeLibrary. And another bargain one I recently picked up is tantalizing me the most right now, Traveling Lightby Katrina Kittle. The reason this one seems to be intriguing me the most frankly is the simple teaser on the back cover, “”Travel Light and you can sing in the robber’s face,” was the best advice Summer Zwolenick ever received from her father, though she didn’t recognize it at the time. …” And, as I often do when deciding on a novel to read, the first sentence, let alone the first paragraph, has my attention and I want to know more. So, that’s most likely the one I’m going to pick up this evening when I get settled in to bed.

Now the only decision I need to make is which bookmark to use (I also love bookmarks and have a few special ones). So where is your bookmark resting these days?

PS: Did you see that I’m putting out a call for a postcard swap? … check the previous post for info.

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Candace - October 14, 2012 - 7:45 pm

Thank you for the suggestions. I love when people give recommendations as it is so hard to choose from all that is out there. I’ll be checking on a couple of these for my kindle…although I have a ton on there I still haven’t read. I need to take a “timeout” between books or I would never get anything else accomplished.

Gabriele - October 15, 2012 - 8:46 am

I picked up the School of Essential Ingredients at the library. If you decide to read The Help. which I recommend, you might enjoy listening to the author Kathryn Stockett on I-Tunes at the Sundance Author’s Workshop.
She is a sassy southerner about 5″2 and I loved hearing her talk about the book. It was her first published novel.
Thanks for your thoughts.

andrea - October 15, 2012 - 5:12 pm

I’m not sure you’d like it as it’s pretty quirky (kind of like watching a Coen Brothers movie or the TV series Deadwood) but my favourite summer read was The Sisters Brothers. The author is an islander.

Sherry Galey - October 17, 2012 - 5:34 pm

I, too, found Still Alice to be a powerful and unforgettable read. Left Neglected is definitely on my list. It’s not a novel but I just bought a used copy of an older photography book put out by Life Magazine called The Meaning of Life. It features amazing black and white photographs (from film, of course) and short meditations on why we are here. Some wonderful quotes here.

A thousand lives » Diane Jarvis-Schuller - January 11, 2013 - 2:43 pm

[…] many people are writing about their favourites from the past year. Back in the autumn I wrote about a few books that were on my bedside table. I don’t write actual reviews since there already is a plethora of them available online. But […]

[…] other book I recommend will come as no surprise if you’ve read some of my other recommendations. Ever since reading her first novel, I have become a fan of Lisa Genova. In my view everyone who […]