Archive | October, 2016

Curative Waters

7 Oct

I have fallen sorely behind in my reading. I’m going to blame it on my 30-day free trial of Netflix (Stranger Things, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black), but in truth I just haven’t picked up a book in a while. My perfect husband came home with two (gift-wrapped) books on Wednesday night and to make him happy I cracked open one and started to read. I cannot even begin to tell you how amazingly perfect News of the World by Paulette Jiles is, but I will try.

newsoftheworld

This might look familiar because it was just short-listed for this year’s National Book Award. I haven’t read any of the others, but if this one doesn’t win I’ll be sad. Firstly, the size of the books is smaller than normal. It’s shorter and squarer and feels so lovely to the touch. And it jumps right into the story – no dilly-dallying, no big huge set up. Captain Kidd, having lived through 3 wars, is looking to ride out his days after the Civil War traveling the frontier and reading the news (as in, booking a hall, charging a dime, and reading news articles out loud to the townsfolk). At one of his stops, the first one we meet him on, he is asked to take a feral-looking girl back home to her relations in San Antonio. Hundreds of miles away. The young girl is Johanna, a 10-year-old who has just been “rescued” from the Kiowa people who had been holding her captive for four years. Captain Kidd is maybe my favorite old man character ever – completely honest and respectable and endearing. And Johanna! A real pistol. I loved reading of their journey in this perfectly packaged novel, loved the way they came to love each other, loved it so much. 5 stars!

Teacher’s Pet

2 Oct

cruel beautiful

Do you know those books you luck into every once in a while that you read in such a fevered frenzy that you look up from and realize that the day has run away from you? That hours have passed and the sun and set and maybe it’s even a new day and you still want to just FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS? This is one of those. Not terribly literary, or incredibly substantial once it’s been consumed, but man, was it an engrossing read. Here’s the story: 1969, a dashing young English teacher arrives at a high school. Shakes things up with his radical ideas, becomes the object of every school girl crush. Including that of young Lucy Gold. And, shocker of shocks, William (the teacher) falls for her, too. They decide to run off together. AND THEN. What follows is Lucy’s story, plus the story of her sister Charlotte. If you’ve been in a reading rut and need something that you can really sink into, try this. 4 stars.