I recently read two charming books by author Marisa De Los Santos. I enjoyed them both and I’m happy to add a new author to my list of favorites. Her writing style is very natural and easy to read, the books aren’t quite in the chick-lit category but they are geared more toward women (similar to Elizabeth Berg). They are about family, relationships, friendship, love lost and found, all that everyday life stuff. There are no guns or mysterious dead bodies (i.e. CSI crime scenes) so I would say that they are good reads for the beach when you want a little escapism and no nightly news gorism (yes, I just made that word up). I also liked how the characters carried over between the two books, I didn’t expect that so it was a pleasant surprise to meet up with them again.
I was walking through the bookstore and there it was again, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’d been seeing it for months, floating from table to table at my local bookstore, and that afternoon I had seen an Oprah promo announcing that she was going to interview the author because it was her current book club selection. So I bought the book (yes, that is the power of Oprah whether authors and bibliophiles like it or not) and I took the book home knowing only that it was a nonfiction book about a woman who travels around the world for a year. I often have a nonfiction book going along with a novel, although I must admit lately that with my mom’s continued illness I have been having a difficult time concentrating and reading one book, let alone two. Still, I began to read Eat, Pray, Love that day, and although I’m not quite done, I’m loving every page. Ms. Gilbert writes like a best friend, penning letters from her adventures that are filled with humor, intelligence, history, and spiritual insight. So far I’ve eaten pizza and sipped rich red wine with her at a cafe in Italy, sat beside her in cave at a sacred ashram in India as she battled to quiet her rambling mind and heal her broken heart, and now we’re off to Bali to hang with a medicine man. I hope she doesn’t mind the company because I really do need to get out of the house.
I finished the Costa Book of the Year Award winner, The Tenderness of Wolves last night . It reminded me a little of Cold Mountain, a wilderness adventure filled with interesting characters and rugged landscapes. British author Stef Penny’s fiction debut is written with confidence as she deftly weaves together a story of love and suspense set in the late 1800’s in Northern Canada. When voyageur Laurent Jammet is found brutally murdered in his cabin we embark on a tale of pursuit. Pursuit of a murderer, of love, of loyalty, of simple respite from the harsh realities of winter in the frozen tundra of the Canadian Frontier. The writing is clean and crisp, and although I did find myself getting confused occasionally as the plot line and characters shifted (this may have been due to my attention span and the plot line of my own life which is rather complicated right now), I’m putting it on my Good Reads list for this summer.
The Department of Lost and Found is the debut novel of magazine writer and fellow blogger, Allison Winn Scotch. I zipped through it in a couple of days last week while sitting out on the deck enjoying the long summer evenings. It’s a character driven story about a workaholic young career woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer. The diagnosis stuns the thirty year old Natalie Miller sending her on a journey of self-discovery that includes a list of lost loves and a comical fascination with Bob Barker and The Price is Right. Heartwarming without being maudlin, The Department of Lost and Found is a triumph and I look forward to reading this talented authors next novel!