What I’ve been reading…

School is about to start and we’ve been preparing the classroom and getting organized to greet our returning students next week.  That has left little time for this blog and writing about the books I have managed to read.  Here are thoughts on some of them.

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2012

Like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, this novel takes place after a devastating loss of life across the planet.  Heller is a poet and it shows.  Deft description, wonderful characters, some even willing to look at the faults of the past and hope for some kind of future.  I do like this genre and am always surprised when an author can bring something new to the end times…

Heft by Liz Moore

W.W. Norton & Co, New York, 2012

An odd and wonderful story that follows two characters whose lives intertwine, although they don’t know it until the final chapters.  When I first heard about this one I wasn’t sure how it well it would work.  I think it does work, quite beautifully.  Moore has created two people, both sad and holding themselves separate from others.  Arthur Opp, a 500 pound failed academic who hasn’t left his house in 10 years, and Kel Keller, eighteen and wildly dreaming of playing professional baseball, his mother suffering, addicted and letting go of life.  I was touched over and over again by Moore’s writing and by the lives of these two people.

Bereft by Chris Womersley

SilverOak, New York, 2012

Gothic, historic fiction set in small town in Australian shortly after WWI.  Quinn Walker, having run from his home town after being accused of a horrible crime, returns to try and set the story straight.  Troubled by war and personal history, he meets a strange wild girl who offers to help him.  Well written and full of tension, this one never really grabbed me the way I hoped it would.  Maybe because I read it after a couple of book that really held my full attention and moved me deeply.

I borrowed all three of these from my local library.  Through the summer I’ve read many mysteries and some great science fiction.  Now  I’m back to work and have plans for my fall reading, including R.I.P. VIIA More Diverse Universe and reading Swann’s Way with a couple of friends.  Have you read anything this summer that really struck a cord?  Do you have reading plans for the fall?


Filed under Books, LiteraryFiction, SpeculativeFiction, Thoughts

8 responses to “What I’ve been reading…

  1. I really want to read Heft. Now that I see you’ve enjoyed The Dog Stars, I’m willing to add it to my tbr list. One of the things I’m hoping to do for the fall is read more books off my tbr pile. Have a good week.

  2. I listened to Heft on audio and it worked really really well. Though I got to the end and found myself wanting more … to have the rest of the story. To find out what happens next. That is the mark of a good read, isn’t it?

  3. It is great to hear that you enjoyed Heft as much as I did. It is such an emotionally well written book!

    I have The Dog Stars in my TBR pile so am pleased to see that you enjoyed it. I hope I do too.

  4. Thinking about it, Heft could have been emotionally over the top. Moore held a very fine line and kept it nicely balanced. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Ti

    You just reminded me. I don’t think I’ve posted my review for The Dog Stars yet. I thought I did. Hmmm. Too much going on. Loved Heft.

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