What If Knits—and books and cats and other stuff and, oh, yeah, books

Obviously, I haven’t been writing about knitting much lately. In fact, I haven’t been knitting much lately. What I have been doing is reading. And reading. And reading. Reading fiction after years of devoting myself to non-fiction. Getting caught up in character and voice. Slipping inside other people authors have invented.

I’ve been pushed in this bookish direction by a few specific things:

• First off, I bought a Kobo eReader for myself after Christmas. I had no idea whether I’d like it or not, but I felt that it was time for me to try out this brave new world of books from the aether available by the hundreds in the palm of my hand. And the experience is every bit as wonderful as it sounds: books from the aether by the hundreds in the palm of my hand.

• Second, I started using GoodReads and LibraryThing. My obsessive self absolutely adores being able to catalogue and rate the books I’m reading. I like seeing that page with cover shots of all the books I’ve read this year. I love, love, love the variations on “if you enjoyed this book, you’ll probably enjoy these as well” that both sites offer. Plus, free books! Both sites have regular giveaways for members—GoodReads on a daily basis (though one has to wade through a lot of dreck to find the books one is really interested in), LibraryThing on a monthly basis (less frequent, but overall higher quality selection).

• Third, once I realized I was addicted to my Kobo Arc, which can surf the net and has a colored, back-lit screen, I suddenly found myself longing for an eReader that would function better in bright daylight, and I quickly convinced myself that it was only sensible to buy a Kindle Paperwhite.

So books. Books. Books. Books. For now, let me just list a few of the best. Soon, I plan to start writing about individual books in more detail. Knitting will still crop up from time to time, but I am allowing myself broad discretion in my choice of blog topics.

This year’s five-star reads as chosen by me:

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Imagining Argentina, Naming the Spirits, and Tales from the Blue Archive, all by Lawrence Thornton

Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphries

The World to Come by Dara Horn

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow

The Giant, O’Brien by Hilary Mantel

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Good Kings, Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum

No One Is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel

The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

Saints and Villains by Denise Giardina

Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith

The Journal of Dora Damage by Belinda Starling

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon

Those are the five-stars. I’ll leave the four-stars for another time. I know a list isn’t a particularly valuable thing in itself, but I promise to think more and to write more thoroughly in the future. For now, I just want to say that these are great books. Any two or three of them could keep you—or at least keep me—content on a desert island for several years.

October 09 2013 12:01 pm | Uncategorized

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