Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Two Books

Finally, it seems that I am reading again. Hooray! I don't know what happened there for awhile, but I haven't been reading much these last few years--distracted by magazines, I suppose, and the internet, and never knowing what to read compounded it. But for my San Diego trip I asked for your suggestions and I guess that's what spurred me back into being a reader. I said I wanted books that are easy to love and Florence suggested I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice. They are both lovely!

I Capture the Castle has such a fabulous narrator--seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain, who lives in an old castle with her family and they don't have any money. Oh how I love Cassandra and her down-to-earthness! She's so appealing and kind and thoughtful. Just read it--this is one of my favorite books now.

After that I was anxious to get Florence's other suggestion, The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets. It's similar to I Capture the Castle with a young narrator who lives in a large ancient house and also does not have any money. The tone is different though--you'll see--not so down to earth but also very honest and likeable. This book took longer to get into, but I ended up really liking it and its characters too.

Sorry for such short book descriptions--baby is calling from his high chair--but I am excited to get back into reading again--hopefully I'll keep finding books that suit me. I honestly don't want anything that is difficult but I insist on good writing. Any other suggestions out there?


Amy said...

A really engrossing read that is part of a series is "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon. It is a historical fiction romance novel involving time travel... Which makes it sound horrible I'm sure, but it is a lot of fun. If you can get through the first 45 pages you will be hooked. Though not a perfect series by any means, I had a lot of fun reading it and have reread it, particularly the first book.

Another great book, and that probably fits better in your category of good writing is The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

Florence said...

Oh, I'm so pleased that you liked them, Mary Beth - and how lovely to have got back into reading - I do find I slip in and out of seems a long time since I sat down to read, despite having some that I'm desperate to read bought as birthday presents.

There are three more that I would recommend - one being Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day - by Winifred Watson (it's a Persephone book, so equisitely presented), but gosh, thinking about it, she's poor too....I appear to be something of a one-trick-pony when it comes to book recommendations!

The next is a translation of a french book called Bonjour Tristesse - it is a very slim book, but I devoured it in one sitting and loved it.

Finally for a slightly longer and more intense read - Liars & Saints by Maile Meloy - this book is written around a fascinating family and their faith and the central character's reaction to it...I was absolutely hooked.

I love reading book recommendations, it's such a good way of finding treasures and so I will return to look for other people's goodies later.

I hope that you are having a good week and that lovely little Rainer is doing well. Thinking of you.

Florence said...

Spelling mistakes all over that...oops. x

Carrie said...

FLorence certainly seems to have great taste in books! Now that Spring is here,it will be lovely to sit outside and read one of her recommendations.

Carrie said...

I really enjoyed Water for Elephants.

About Us: said...

I have read the Outlander series books and they are good.

Didn't the Miss Pettigrew become a movie too?

I will have to read the book recommendations that were listed. I seem to go in and out of reading too.

Lately I have been cooking and doing some domestic stuff (I guess in readiness for kids to come home) so I haven't done as much reading, unless it was an adoption related book.

So will have to check out these titles. Glad you enjoyed I Capture the Castle.

Hope Rainer's appt goes well tomorrow.