I’ve started and stopped a lot of things.
Hello, baby sweater out of the softest purple yarn.
Hello, manuscripts abandoned after fifty pages.
Hello, any TV series with more than five seasons (… but not you, Criminal Minds. I would never).
But I could probably count on one hand the number of books I’ve started and abandoned, and even there, extenuating circumstances come into play. Once a book had to be returned to the library half-read, and by the time it was available again, I’d moved on to other books, other stories. And when I was a teenager, there was a pulpy novel in the McDonald’s break room where I worked, and I read it in fifteen minute increments all summer long, only to find out that the last twenty or so pages were missing when I got to that point.
I’m not just a reader, I’m a finisher. (You may now pin me with a special badge. Thank you.)
Here’s some of the latest:
The Michigan Murders by Edward Keyes, which I listened to on audiobook, my phone in my pocket, the volume turned all the way up, while I putzed around the backyard. The first 75% of this book I recommend without hesitation—even though I learned afterwards that Keyes had taken the somewhat bizarre step of changing the names of everyone involved, including the killer. Being obsessed with true crime, or fictional crimes that read like real crimes, I had to then read everything Google could tell me (which was really not quite enough). Anyway—this one fell into lap, so to speak. I was on Hoopla scanning audiobooks and accidentally clicked on it. I call serendipity.
Anyone have any true crime books to recommend?
That cover, though. Ouch.
Far From the Tree by Robin Benway. Technically young adult, a genre that of course didn’t exist when I was a young adult, this book was amazing in about fifteen different ways. I love it when someone can write teenagers well—without relying on stereotypes or well-worn tropes. I’m typically not someone who cries when I read, either, maybe because I don’t gravitate toward those kinds of stories—but I bawled reading this one. When a writer can make me feel for characters as if they are real people, and leave me feeling relieved that they’re going to be okay on their own, after the last page, that’s top-notch right there.
Also I met Robin Benway at an event in SoCal and she was lovely and unassuming and oh yeah, right after that she won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. I’m calling that my brush with royalty.
What are you reading?
Paula Treick DeBoard