I’ve dived into reading lately. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve had time to indulge in my favorite activity. Now, though, I’m between writing books, having one out this month and the next in limbo. It’s under contract, but it’s been delayed, and for the first time in years I have leisure time.
Years ago, I read two or three books a week. In the last five years with family responsibilities as well as a heavy writing schedule, that number dwindled to two or three a month. My book buying habits didn’t change, though, and the number of to-be-read piles has been growing with astronomical speed.
I decided this was my month to relax and be a sloth. It’s been quite marvelous. I’m reading a book every two days, consuming them at an astounding rate. Old books (I’m finding treasures from ten years ago). New books (I love my fellow Broads’ current books). I even gave in and bought a Nook for instant gratification if I found an author I really liked and wanted to buy her/his earlier offerings.
But in addition to Maggie’s, Tara’s and Krissie’s books this month, I’ve read three others I think are outstanding, each in a very different way. That’s the glory of reading: the different paths the books take you, the different worlds you visit.
One is what would probably be considered a literary book. It’s “My Name is Mary Sutter,” the fictional story of a headstrong midwife from Albany, New York, who dreams of being surgeon. It’s 1860, and women didn’t become doctors, much less surgeons. No amount of denials deter her and when the Civil War starts, she heads south on her own to nurse the wounded. If you’re fascinated with Civil War history as I am, you will love this book. The history is outstanding, and you feel as if you’re standing in the middle of a killing field with no drugs or bandages or water as Mary moves from one battle to another. It’s has a lovely– if unique – romance as well. It’s about an incredibly gutsy and strong woman who lets nothing stand in her way.
I think one reason I loved it so much is one of my great, great, great, great relatives, a woman, accompanied her physician husband to care for wounded troops during the war. She later became a doctor herself . After reading “Mary Sutter”, I have some idea of what she must have experienced.
The second book couldn’t be more different. It’s an older Jayne Ann Krentz romantic suspense. It was a paperback from one of my old to-be-read piles, and unlike the somber nature of the one I’d just read, “All Night Long,” kept me chuckling for a day and half. It had a terrific hero, wonderfully witty dialogue, and a page-turning plot.
Now I’m digging into a Daniel Silva book. He’s a thriller writer who has created one of fiction’s most unique heroes, an Israeli spy and assasin who is also a much-in-demand art restorer. You learn as much about art as you do about espionage.
Three very different books. Three different worlds. Three different emotional landscapes.
I’m a very happy person.
What are YOU reading now? And do you love to mix the genres as I do? Do you have a recent favorite?
Please share with us.