An assortment of books, mostly read

May 20th. 2011

In between the catch-all that has been my schedule lately (I don’t know how, but my life is being dictated by my daughter’s high school) I’ve been reading various books. I can’t say I finished them all, but I honestly know I’ll probably never get back to them either. BUT, having said that I thought maybe some of you might be interested in these recent purchases:

The Linen Queen, Patricia Falvey. This is one of those cases where the back cover and the book pages don’t mesh, at least in my opinion. I was depressed reading about a girl who had nothing but bad things happen to her (even when they could have been good things) but the difference was her lack of hope.

Flower Confidential, Amy Stewart. This was a cool book. Can’t promise I read every page but I enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse in the complex world of flower breeding, growing, and selling. I might never look at grocery store bouquets in the same light.

Rose, Wachsberger and James. This was self-help that didn’t help me at all. I inherited beautiful antique rose bushes when we bought this house seven years ago. And, in seven years I’ve yet to learn how to care and cultivate those roses. Granted, I have a tough love approach to gardening, but I’d hoped this would help me know how to foster my bushes, not so much. But, if I want to flip through a book and see healthy and abundant bushes–this is my ticket.

An Altar in the World, Barbara Brown Taylor. Hmmm. Let’s just say it’s hard for me to read a spiritual book and not have my own bias color my reaction. You might be a little more open-minded.

The Distant Hours

May 15th. 2011

Wandering through my favorite bookstore, Barrons, the other day I turned to see a new book propped on a low shelf and for reasons I can’t define, (short of my addiction to fiction) bought it. The Distant Hours, by Kate Morton, proved to be one of those books that I couldn’t put down once I started and, no doubt, will linger long after I turned the last page. It’s two stories (or three, or maybe four) told through a series of undeniably circumstantial events. The unlikelihood of those circumstances doesn’t diminish the gripping nature of the story–as a matter of fact by the end the circumstances are so tightly bound that it leaves one with the idea the story couldn’t have been told any other way. I would love to give you a summary but I’m not–I couldn’t do it justice. So go with this, a WWII Gothic tale set in a moldy castle with a lot of thunderstorms, betrayals, heartbreaks, murders, and madness. And that’s just the historical story. The current story is wrought with its own secrets, unclaimed destinies and heartaches, but true to the talent of Kate Morton, it all works out in a satisfying manner that left me in awe of her writing craft as well as of her detailed (and wickedly talented) imagination.