Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Well, it's been the literary equivalent of a cloudy, drizzly, cold and damp week or so. Not a dry spell--that's different. This has just been the kind of stretch that makes you think God has a head cold and is taking it out on you. Metaphorically.

First, I have to admit that I gave in to an inexplicable urge to read a book by a woman named Lurlene. Perhaps I shouldn't judge, but that doesn't seem to be stopping me. In a search for fiction about Amish people, I wound up with a young adult romance novel called Angels Watching Over Me, by Lurlene McDaniel. I did not realize how awful it would be; I would have stopped reading it but the whole thing took about two hours, so by the time I realized how bad it was, it was too late to stop. Embarassingly, I realized when I read the blurbs in the back of the book, she also wrote a number of books I recall fondly from my youth, including Too Young to Die, I Want to Live, and Six Months to Live. Do we see a common theme?

For my future Amish literature needs, instead of reading the rest of this trilogy (Lifted Up by Angels and Until Angels Close My Eyes, and aren't you glad I read these books so you don't have to?), I'm going to go with Jodi Picoult's Plain Truth. I think that'll fill my Amish needs.

In other sadly abortive attempts at bettering myself, I had to surrender The Diary of a Country Priest, as well. With this one, I can't be fully sure it wasn't that I just wasn't in the mood to work that hard. It's a sad book, first of all, about a priest who finds his small country parish to be uninspiring, and who doesn't manage money well and seems a little less than admirable himself. But the problem with the book, really, was the long, uninterrupted paragraphs of description and characters with long monologues about the nature of the priesthood, etc.

It's hard for me, but I think I might as well just let it go. I have to remember that if I die not having read every book that ever crossed my path, it will not be the end of the world. It's all about mortality, you know?

And finally, I also gave up on The Last Report of the Miracles at Little No-Horse. This book might have been good, actually, but it was really very much not up my alley. I'm always suspicious of a book with a geneology chart in the front. And long paragraphs rhapsodizing about music don't usually win me either. It doesn't actually have any magical realism in it (not in the first 36 pages, which was the 10% test I gave it), but it came very close--they removed the wall of the house to get the piano in, and the woman plays the piano nude in the middle of the night, with the whole world flowing around her. Then there's a flood and she dresses as a man and becomes a priest.

I don't know. I feel like maybe I should try--the story had promising things in it. It was very much my kind of book in many ways. But I just wasn't enjoying it.

Well, what're you gonna do? I'm reading other books now, and enjoying them. I went to the library and have 12 items checked out now (according to my account). There will be others.


Michael said...

I was just reading about Jodi Picoult's new novel, THE TENTH CIRCLE. The main character is a comics illustrator, and there is a comics sequence inserted in the story.

Helen said...

Lurlene McDaniel!! AGH!! I read all those "Too Young To Die" books, too. I was so damn morbid as a kid!

LibraryHungry said...

I know! And her name is Lurlene! "Too Young to Die" was one of my favorite books. I think I got it from a book order.