Saturday, August 20, 2011

Good Books

One of the wonderful things about summer for a teacher is the time to read. Somehow a good book is even more appealing while sitting on the deck (or beach) with a nice glass of wine or a cool iced tea.

I read four excellent books this summer and I want to share them with you.

Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese. I love books that are sagas, that span a long period of time. This story starts out in Ethiopia with the tragic and compelling birth of conjoined twins, brothers who are separated at birth while their mother, a nun, dies in childbirth. Their father, a doctor, witnesses her death and abandons his boys to an Indian doctor, who raises them as her own. It continues for the next 25 years of their lives, through loss and betrayal, but with an almost mystical bond that the boys have. They both become physicians and one ends up in New York City. The book has an unexpected and shocking ending. Well worth the read.

American Gods
by Neil Gaiman. I never thought I'd read a Neil Gaiman book. He is most well-known for writing a type of fantasy and the Sandman graphic novels. Not my thing, but curiosity got the best of me. Even as I was reading the epic American Gods I was shocked that I was loving it. I chose the 10th anniversary issue which advertised "author's preferred text". I just discovered that it contained 12,000 extra words from the original! I cannot even describe this book to you so I am giving you the Wikipedia description:
"The novel is a blend of American, fantasy and various strands of ancient and modern mythology, all centered on a mysterious and taciturn protagonist, Shadow."
Gaiman is from England and now lives in America. This is his take on what makes America spin.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. If I could write like anyone I might choose to be Ann Patchett. She is also the author of Bel Canto and The Patron Saint of Liars. Her books are wildly diverse in their topics. State of Wonder takes an American research scientist into the jungles of Brazil to check on the progress of an elusive scientist for a pharmaceutical company. She is also sent to discover what happened to a coworker who was reported dead. There, she becomes enveloped in the Amazonian tribe and their ways of living. It's a fascinating look into a world most of us know nothing about. Also, has quite a cool ending.

Life by Keith Richards. I can't really call myself a Rolling Stones fan let alone a Keith Richards fan, but I love autobiographies if they are well written and take you on journey into the person's life - and this one does that. He writes in a charming way. I particularly enjoy discovering how famous or successful people came to do what they have done, and this one is no exception. I did learn more about recreational drugs than I eve needed to know, but it was still a great read.

If you read, or have read any of these I'd love to read your comments. and of course, my own book The Desire Path is still available if you're looking for a good book:))

No comments: