I spent the weekend on the beach in Fire Island with two of my oldest friends, a much-needed respite from my everyday life, which has recently been rife with sadness. We cooked amazingly delicious food, sat on the beach, talked and talked and talked, read Tarot cards (yes, we did!), got tan, drank quite a bit and read our books. One friend was in the midst of a novel on her Nook, the other finished one book and started a second on her Nook. I was all old school, and read two whole books that had real pages and paper.
The first was a beautiful advanced reading copy I got at BEA, Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick. If you don’t already know, Selznick is the author and illustrator of the 2008 Caldecott winning book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Both of his books are gorgeously told with both words and drawings, but don’t make the mistake of dismissing them as mere children’s stories or just picture books. Wonderstruck won’t be in bookstores until September but until then I highly recommend you buy or borrow Hugo Cabret. It is complex, like a wine might be, multi-layered and delicious.
The second book I read was The Forgotton Waltz, by Anne Enright. She won the 2007 Man Booker Prize for her novel The Gathering. I’m still allowing the story in The Forgotten Waltz to percolate. What I can say about it now is that it is a lovely, wry drawing of daily life as well as an exquisite voyage through betrayal and love. It won’t be in bookstores until October but I’m giving away one of the advanced reading copies of The Forgotten Waltz that I got at BEA. It is signed by the author, whom I had the pleasure to hear speak. It is truly brilliant.
On the ferry back to the mainland, squeezed between my two good friends on the windy upper deck, I finished the second book. It was the end of a perfect weekend and I had the experience of all being right in my world, if just for a moment.
What about you? What books have you read recently that have put the icing on your cake?
(Please read the rules on the Contest page for a chance to win The Forgotten Waltz.)