I promised myself to update more regularly here and on Goodreads about what I’m reading. I was a little surprised, honestly, when I sat down to post, that my list for January only has three completed books on it. And then, I remembered that there’s an awful lot of other reading I’ve done but not tracked: literary journals, print copies and online (since I didn’t track, I’ll forget some, but I know I’ve read Tin House, The Missouri Review, Bartleby Snopes, The Huffington Post, New York Times, The Rumpus, a food-themed issue at The Lyon Review, One Story, The MacGuffin, Grey Sparrow Press, The Potomac Review and more).
So, for completed books, I recommend for your reading pleasure:
There’s a reason this book was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer in non-fiction. If you haven’t read it, please consider doing so. This book looks at a border-crossing gone bad on the U.S. and Mexico border. Wherever you stand on illegal immigration, you will find things to think about or maybe, things you need to re-think that you’ve always taken as “gospel.” I’ll admit to being a Urrea fan – he was a fantastic teacher at the Aspen workshop last summer – but my comments aren’t colored by my impressions of the man. I’m commenting on the words, the heart and the soul in this book. Read it.
I read this book for a book club. As a historical novel, it’s different than your every day view of southern plantation life in the U.S. The story is interesting and the writing crisp and clean. For a debut novel, it is very impressive. I personally don’t understand it being named a National Blue Ribbon Choice, but maybe that’s why I don’t do book reviews. I liked it, I didn’t love it. That doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s worth your time.
I loved this book and I don’t think I can beat the description up on the website:
A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present. When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be…until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.
I have some other books in progress which I’ll comment on another time– in progress now, nonfiction – Conscious Cleanse; spiritual – Praying with Ignatius; fiction – Queen of America and A Partial History of Lost Causes. Soon I’ll talk about that last one and reading like a writer. I am SO impressed with this young author, Jennifer duBois .
Hope you had a great reading and writing month to begin 2013.