Thursday, January 11, 2007

"Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” - Samuel Ullman

You know when you finish a really good book, a book you really enjoyed reading and would have stayed up all night to finish except you know The Baby wakes up at 530, and you can’t wait to read another book by that author?

Except all too frequently the damn author (and I mean that lovingly) has only written one or two novels, which you have read, and you are consigned to awaiting his or her next novel – maybe a year if you are lucky (Joyce Carol Oates, John Grisham, Alice Hoffman), or sometimes many years if you are not so lucky (AS Byatt, JK Rowling, Beth Gutcheon), or they have died or quit writing (Robertson Davies, Rosamunde Pilcher).

I find myself in this position having finished Mark Haddon’s newest book, A Spot of Bother, surreptitiously and totally illegally, at work, at the reference desk, this evening.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was good.
But this book, Haddon’s sophomore fiction effort, is brilliant. The people in this book are so real, you feel like you are reading about your own family (or for those more normal people among you, perhaps the dysfunctional arm of your extended family, or if you are really really normal, maybe your best friend’s or husband’s insane relations.)

So there you are, our book reccs for the day:
The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf from Gina;
A Spot of Bother from me.

Go forth and read.


Bec said...

That's more like it: if it's ONLY two recommendations there's a chance that I may actually remember them!

(sorry, have just been grouching on my blog about how book-bloggers have bedazzled me so much that I can't even make a choice in a bookshop any more: I take it all back now).

Joke said...

I feel your pain. John Welter rattled off three inexpressively brilliant novels and then...silence.

I've been scratching my tracks ever since.


Amy said...

I'm working through "We Were the Mulvaneys" at the moment (by Oates) and just loving it. I'm glad she has more that I have yet to read!

Caro said...

I have read surreptitiously at work before. :)

sara said...

Great recommendation...I loved "Curious Incident." It kept a long flight to South Africa in coach from driving me irretrievably batty.

Kathy said...

I was wondering about the new Haddon book; I keep picking it up and putting it down. Maybe I'll read it now.

Anonymous said...

I wish Anne Tyler would clone herself and write several new books each year.

A really loved A Spot of Bother, too, although I was cringing as I read the part about the "surgery".

BabelBabe said...

Liz, I just tried to start Snow Flower and the Secret Fan but reading the details of the footbinding was enough to make me nauseated, which is saying something as I am generally totally nonsqueamish. The "surgery" in Spot didn't bother me in the least : )

Telfair, Spot is TOTALLY different from Curious Incident; same excellent writing but absolutely different. It would still make a crazy flight better, though.

lazy cow said...

A spot of bother is Feb's bookgroup book, but I have so many books I need to read before that I can't even look forward to it yet. Picked it up at a bookstore but put it down again, as it is only out here in hardback so far.
(I'll look out for those books you listed in newest post).