In the High Peaks

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Book Recommendations for Nancy!

My friend Nancy has been begging me for book recommendations. She's just returned from a trip to France, England, and Scotland, and later this week she and her husband will return for the summer to the sailboat that was their only home for many, many years. The boat is docked on a pier in Long Island, New York. (Readers, I've added the state for my international readers.)

Nancy zoomed through Stieg Larsson's Milennium Trilogy. I've read only The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The reason why I've read no further may surprise you. I loved it so much, I don't want to read the second book, because then I'll read the third book, and the series will come to an end! I'll get used to the idea of Larsson's death eventually, but right now I can't bear the thought of finsihing that third book.

Nancy is an artist; a painter, to be more specific. So I recommended a novel I adored, Spending by Mary Gordon. Gordon is a serious writer of fiction, but this book, despite its serious themes, was such a pleasurable romp! The main character is an artist living in New York City. She is recently divorced and spends the summer and part of the fall in Wellfleet on Cape Cod. This book is so delicious. Imagine a bowl of rich vanilla ice cream, covered with your favorite toppings, sitting right in front of your face. With each page, you spoon that syrupy, creamy goodness into your mouth. That's how the read was for me. I have since bought it at a book sale and must read it again.

I finished Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes yesterday. I was satisfied with the ending, and very happy to return to the world of 2010 in the Adirondack Mountains. No, I won't be recommending it to Nancy--her tastes do not run to Vietnam combat novels, I'm afraid, though I do wish that women would rise up and read it.

Early this morning I started reading an Elin Hilderbrand novel I borrowed from the library, The Castaways, and as Hilderbrand always manages to do, she hooked me in the first 20 pages. Hilderbrand's novels are definitely "beach reads," but they hold my interest every single minute. Imagine dreams of idyllic Nantucket Island. I remember our almost-mystical vacation there two years after we were married, and the schoolgirl trips with the Girl Scouts, and another with my mother, brother, and cousins. I hope to return one day. (But it takes lots and lots of cash nowadays!) With Hilderbrand's novels I'm there, remembering.

1 comment:

  1. If your friend Nancy likes books about artists then she should try 'The Swan Thieves' by Elizabeth Kostova and 'Notes on an Exhibition' by Patrick Gale. They are both brilliant reads.