I read two wonderful books this week. Both glorious but in completely different ways. The first was Heist Society by Ally Carter. She is one of my absolute favorite writers for teen girls. She also does the NYT bestselling series of books about a school for young spies. Heist Society was about a girl from a family of high class thieves who has to save her father’s life from a Mafia guy in two weeks using only her smarts, sneakiness, and a group of hunky young guys, and of course her cousin, who is not a hunky guy but does know how to accessorize and utilize tipsy heels and a dash of pink with deadly results. A superb book in every way. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than curl up with one of her books. She fits my tastes precisely and always delivers a marvelous read.
Next I read a Pulitzer prize winning literary novel titled The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Amazing amazing book. Superbly written, simultaneously beautiful and painful to read, says a lot about life and death and love and what makes us human, as a father and young son push a derelict grocery cart across post apocalyptic America trying to stay alive in the cold and ash and watching as humanity reverts to a pack of killing monsters before their eyes. With no vegetation or animals surviving there isn’t much to eat except old canned goods and…I bet you can figure it out. But some things they refuse to do and they might just die but they will die as humans. A life changing book, I had a hard time sleeping the night I finished it. It was just, you felt almost burnt after reading it, the impressions weighted your soul with their beauty and horror. Aaargh, can’t really describe it.
It’s interesting. When I read literary fiction I almost read it like non-fiction. I can drop it and go at any time. I’ll carry a book on writing or something with me when I take the boys outside to play because I can catch snippets of non-fiction and still enjoy it without getting frustrated. It is the same with literary fiction. I can tote the book around and just get in snippets here and there and be awed by the language and beauty but not be grumpy when I’m interrupted because there really isn’t a plot to make me HAVE to keep going. Once I’m actually reading I enjoy the beauty of it, but the drive to read and read into the night simply isn’t there like when I am reading a less esteemed book that actually has a story. So how do you read books? What draws you to different genres? What do you prefer and what do you like about all of the literature and stories that are out there?