Friday, June 16, 2017

Now reading at the Green Hand!

Hi folks!  I'm going to try something new.  While I don't read as much as folks imagine I read ("...because when you're at the shop you just sit there and read, right?"), I do make a serious effort to at least chip away at a few of the many books on my to-read shelf on a regular basis.  So I thought it might be fun to just jot down a couple of the most recent books I'm reading each week, in case some of you are curious about them.  Most of these are in-process reads, so -- no spoilers in the comments please!  😉

I'm inaugurating this feature on the blog in honor of going back to a regular full-time schedule at the shop starting the last week in June.  Hooray!  Cheers to you, cheers to reading, and cheers to books and writing!!!  ...and HAPPY SUMMER!

1.  Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
Last year at ReaderCon, the posthumous Guest of Honor was Diana Wynne Jones.  I had never read any of her books, but knew her work from a gazillion recommendations from friends and customers, and watching Miyazaki's adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle.  One of the things I love about ReaderCon is being able to go to panel discussions about authors I haven't read yet -- it's like getting an inside window into the author and their work from people who a) really love them and (if you're lucky) b) people that actually know them in person.  It's a phenomenal alchemy that occurs when one of these panels takes off like a rocket, and the Diana Wynne Jones discussion was one of these. 

This is now the 4th* Diana Wynne Jones book I've read since last summer, and once again I am charmed.  The cool thing about these books, though, is that it is not a treacly charm -- she writes smart, she writes witty, she writes delightfully absurd in the most unexpected places.  Throughout the book, the story and characters are compelling, and I find myself really wanting to know what happens next at every page.

*:  I started with Howl's Moving Castle (even more to love than the movie!), moved onto Deep Secret (a very ReaderCon-ish setting!), then Witch Week (good witch? bad witch? which witch?).

2.  The Comedians by Graham Greene
Graham Greene is another author I have waffled about reading for years now.  Not waffled about reading him, you understand -- I waffled about what book to start with.  Then a copy of The Comedians came across my desk, and suddenly it clicked.  Voodoo?  Haiti during the shadowy period of the Tontons Macoute?  A tale wound between characters with commitment and those with none, those who "if they die, they die by accident." 

So far the novel is excellent.  Sparse prose that paints a foreign scene, and introduces characters without belabored exposition.  Greene drops in details as deftly as any artist with a brush -- here a dab, there a wash, and gradually the foreground and background are filled in.  There is a stunning poignancy in the world painted through the people in this story, told with deceptive simplicity, revealed moment by moment, year by year, painless except for in sudden moments of surprise when Greene catches at you intentionally. 

Here is where I started with Graham Greene.  I think I'll read Travels with My Aunt next. 

Thanks for reading along with me!  Hope your summer reading is going as well as mine is!

1 comment:

  1. I love Dianna Wynne Jones. I've read all 3 intertwined books that include Howl's Moving Castle, Castle in the Air, and House of Many Ways, and her Dalemark Quartet. I feel like you really can't go wrong with her books. I've never read Graham Greene, but Travels with my Aunt is on my shelf, waiting to be read!