Thursday, March 13, 2008

more of what I'm reading

I finished Leif Enger's wonderful novel, Peace Like A River, and passed it on to my daughter, who is always looking for something else to read. The first sentence:

FROM MY FIRST BREATH IN THIS WORLD, ALL I WANTED WAS A GOOD SET OF lungs and the air to fill them with - given circumstances, you might presume, for an American baby of the twentieth century.

Enger has a new novel coming out in April, So Brave, Young and Handsome. The blurb:

In 1915 Minnesota, novelist Monte Becket has lost his sense of purpose. His only success long behind him, Monte lives simply with his wife and son. But when he befriends outlaw Glendon Hale, a new world of opportunity and experience presents itself. Glendon has spent years in obscurity, but the guilt he harbors for abandoning his wife, Blue, over two decades ago, has lured him from hiding. As the modern age marches swiftly forward, Glendon aims to travel back to his past--heading to California to seek Blue’s forgiveness. Beguiled and inspired, Monte soon finds himself leaving behind his own family to embark for the unruly West with his fugitive guide. As they desperately flee from the relentless Charles Siringo, an ex-Pinkerton who’s been hunting Glendon for years, Monte falls ever further from his family and the law, to be tempered by a fiery adventure from which he may never get home.

A new Leif Enger in April, a new Ellen Gilchrist in May! Life is good.

Right now I'm reading Aryn Kyle's The God of Animals. Very nice so far. The blurb:

Aryn Kyle's haunting coming-of-age novel is the kind of book that you want to share with everyone you know. Twelve-year-old Alice Winston is growing up fast on her father's run-down horse ranch--coping with the death of a classmate and the absence of her older sister (who ran off with a rodeo cowboy), trying to understand her depressed and bedridden mother, and attempting to earn the love and admiration of her reticent, weary father. Lyrical, powerful, and unforgettable.

Sitting on top of my reading pile is Angela Davis-Gardner's Forms of Shelter. Angela is another North Carolina writer and I've had the pleasure of being on a writing retreat with her. Her novel-in-progress has to do with a horse, so I'm looking forward to seeing it when it's published. The blurb for Forms of Shelter:

In this moving, often heartbreaking story, Beryl Fonteyn chronicles her years growing up in Virginia and North Carolina. She is five years old when her adored saxophone-playing father leaves the family in Virginia for a jazz career in Chicago. A few years later, her mother marries Dr. Jack Fonteyn, who introduces his wife, stepdaughter and Beryl's younger brother Stevie to tennis, Greek classics and his passion: beekeeping. On the surface the new arrangement is idyllic, yet the hoped-for love and warmth of family life never materialize as Davis-Gardener's ( Felice ) carefully drawn characters instead connect in a painful, psychologically damaging dynamic spun of loyalty and desperation. Beryl's convincing voice, particularly as a child, lends authenticity to her honest and hard-hitting tale. Readers will identify with her loss and alienation and cheer her eventual courage as she confronts the harsh facts of her childhood.


Grey Horse Matters said...

It always sounds as if you have a full reading schedule, how do you find the time to do it all? I barely get through most days and fall into bed exhausted at night.

billie said...

Oh, Arlene, I don't ever do it all. The house is in dire need of a good cleaning. But I've decided that writing, riding, reading are more important to me than having the house immaculate.

The funny thing is, I too fall asleep exhausted, but usually I get in some reading first. I used to be able to read late into the night and still function well the next day, but with the work of horses, I fall asleep pretty quickly.