Last year I practiced monogamy in books. I read one book at a time until I was finished. It wasn’t a habit that I had before and I decided that I would try it out. I think I read less last year because of it. If I didn’t like a book or got stuck in a rut then I just wouldn’t read until I was re-inspired by whatever it was hat I had been reading. This year I have slowly reverted back to my old promiscuous reading habits- back to having a few books going at a time, at least. Old habits die-hard.
An Acquaintance With Darkness, by Ann Rinaldi: I am really hooked on her work. She specializes in YA historical fiction, but I am finding that the stories work very well for an older audience as well. The stories are interesting, well written and researched, and thought provoking; a good way to learn about the culture, every day and extraordinary events in historical United States/colonies (whatever the US was and became). This one is about body snatchers and the death of Abraham Lincoln and has a plucky heroine whose mom has just died. Emily has gone to live with her uncle, who is a doctor, but he has some mysterious dealings going on in a little laboratory he has built in his back yard.
Even though I bought this one first, this is the second Rinaldi book that I am reading (really the third, read on). I also picked up a copy of Hang A Thousand Trees with Ribbon. I finished that one already. It was the story of Phillis Wheatley. So good! I had thought Ann Rinaldi was a new-to-me author, but she’s not; and now I know why I love her so much. The Last Silk Dress is one of my favorites that I read as a child and she’s the author! I am so excited. She has written a ton of books and I am excited about that as well. Lot’s of good stuff for me to read.
The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, by Syrie James: I just finished this book- like last night just finished. I loved it! I’m still thinking up all the ways that I can gush over this book. I loved it so much that after reading the first chapter I had to look up all the other books that Syrie James has written (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen), and then I had to talk myself out of running out to buy it before I could finish the one that I already had. Ask me if I was successful. What do you think? This book just came out this month and already I want the next female classic author whose memoir/journal she wants to bring to life. More please!
The Likeness, by Tana French: I’ve read a chapter so far and I am hooked. I loved Cassie in In The Woods, and I am glad to be getting more of her story in this book. So far this one is going back to her roots and exploring when she got her first start going undercover to bust a college drug ring. Eventually this case links back up to the mystery of a woman who looks exactly like Cassie and who has been using the name of the original undercover agent that Cassie created back when she first started with the police force. I love having a go-to literary mystery author in Tana French, and I am hoping that this book doesn’t disappoint. I have heard that this one is even better than In The Woods, which I liked despite its cliffhanger ending. I have to admit that I think I am hoping that I will get more answers at the end of this one. You can only leave me hanging for so long.
Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde, by Jeff Guinn: I have been listening to this one on audio. The narrator is a little dry but the story is so interesting that it makes up for it. The story with these outlaws is so different from the glamour of the legend that it makes you wonder why they are so celebrated and revered. Bonnie and Clyde were basically very small time crooks and didn’t make a lot of money from their exploits. They were so poor and used to so little that maybe it was enough for them to just get by, but they were always putting themselves in such danger to get so little that it’s a little baffling, and they weren’t very smart about the things that they did either. Clyde seriously injured Bonnie by driving recklessly, and they were often really flashy in calling attention to themselves in situations where it would have made more sense to be cool and lay low. You really want to take them side and smack them around a little. The cops who are after them are no better, and there was so little communication between the different states and their police forces that it was easy for crooks to escape and pretty much do whatever they wanted. It’s all very interesting though.
I have a feeling that I will be getting many more books by Ann Rinaldi, Tana French and Syrie James. Have you read anything lately that has sent you running immediately to see what other books the author has written? What authors do you collect?