Friday, November 5, 2010

What I’m reading

I finished Freedom by Jeffrey Franzen. New book, lots of hype, but I liked it a lot. It was a very complex plot with lots of layers and recurring themes. Just what a great novel is supposed to be.

I took a break from current fiction and read The Good Earth, Pearl Buck’s Pulitzer prize winner from the ‘30’s. Excellent book, I understand how it has stood the test of time.

Ken Follett, World Without End is 929 pages of medieval history. This book has it all, sex, politics, back stabbing, black death, murder and romance. It was a page turner.

Loving medieval history, I couldn't help myself and started reading Ken Follett's companion to World without End, Pillars of the Earth. It was 983 pages long. More sex, treachery, concealed identities, and of course murder. The book culminates with the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket in 1170.

Although I read it a couple of years ago, another medieval history novel was Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. It's about a village affected by the plague that cut itself off from the outside world to prevent the villagers from leaving and infecting others.

For non-fiction, I read The Forger's Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century by Edward Dolnick. . Makes you wonder how many fakes are hanging in museums. Very good book.

Bury Your Dead, by Louise Penny. I do not recommend. It's about a murder investigation in Quebec. I don’t have enough background in Canadian history, especially Quebec separatists, to appreciate it. Don't know why I continued to read it except it had a mystery and I wanted to know what happened.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. An absolutely splendid novel about complicated family relationships centered on twins abandoned at birth. Set in a mission hospital in Ethiopia and an urban hospital in the US, it was a fabulous book. Highly recommend.

Next up: A Tale of Two Cities. Charles Dickens classic about the French revolution. My sixth grade teacher read this book to us every day after lunch. I can remember the whole class being mesmerized by the story. Last year I read Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now, a loooong Victorian novel about greed, politics, power and financial ruin.


  1. I think we must have very similar tastes in reading because I have read almost all these books or in the case of Cutting for Stone, it is on my toberead pile. did you know they made a tv series on Pillars of the Earth? It was quite good, I watched it streaming on Netflix. They sort of combined the two books to make one long show. I've read other books by geraldine Brooks and enjoyed all of them.

  2. Can't believe you are going to reread Tale of Two Cities! I'm rereading it now. Also going to reread War and Peace and I'm waiting for the price to go down on Fall of Giants.