Sunday, January 17, 2010

Some Good Books

If the first few weeks of 2010 are any indicator, this is going to be a good year for reading!
I've already read several really terrific books.
<-- For instance, The Falls, by Joyce Carol Oates.
My first foray into "Oates" and definitely not my last [metaphorical] God willing!
Have any of you ever had a look at how many books this woman has written? It's a veritable Library unto itself. Usually, with such a prolific output, one would expect something trite to be churned out. I mean, she's been consistently punting one through the uprights on an annual basis for a long long time now. But The Falls was anything but "trite".
It was a very engaging, satisfying read -- at the literature level. An intelligent pageturner, if you will. And the story takes place in one of my favorite places on earth, Niagara Falls.
I've been to The Falls somewhere around ten separate times in my lifetime, and they never cease to mesmerize and intrigue me.
Then I read a collection of short stories by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall. A resonant pentachord of linked stories. Ishiguro redeeming himself here, because [truthfully] I did not really like his [2000] novel When We Were Orphans. Found it disturbingly... contrapuntal.
Then, a book I have already praised to the skies, Nicole Krauss's [2002] Man Walks Into A Room. As I have already stated, she..... I mean THIS BOOK is one you should really get your hands on!
But....... [hold on to your proverbial hats] I am right now in the closing stages of a FABULOUS book called The Little Stranger.
Sarah Waters. Her 2009 novel.
This book is absolutely incredible. It is driving me positively mental, how good it is.
In fact, I want to quit writing here so I can get back to it.... I am chagrined that just a couple months ago, the author was DOWN THE STREET FROM ME..... presenting a lecture, and I missed it!
I am an IDIOT!
This book should win every book award that ever existed, and also an Academy Award.
And a Grammy!
So, 2010 is looking good. Real good!
We are low maintenance, us book-lovers, am I right?
The world is falling apart. Earthquakes. Cold winter weather. Hamburger shortages.
Just throw us some good books. Am I right?

Last time I spent some time at Niagara Falls, my friend took the following video clip. There is something profoundly mystical, and relaxing to me, about Niagara Falls.

Different angle.


Stefanie said...

Wow, you've been reading some good books! So great that the year is off to such a good start. I have never been to Niagra Falls but it looks incredibly awesome.

Melwyk said...

This is a great string of books, lucky you! Glad you liked The Falls; I haven't read it yet but did put it on my Niagara Falls reading list.

And I've always been fond of Oscar Wilde's summation of Niagara Falls: "a newlywed's second biggest disappointment".