Saturday, April 13, 2013

Days 10-13 . . .

In my defense, finished copy edits this week. And wrote a paragraph for Random House's 2014 spring catalog about the book I'm currently writing. And wrote in the book I'm currently writing. And . . . nope, that's pretty much it.

Day 10: Favorite Classic

VILLETTE by Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte's final novel features Lucy Snowe, an Englishwoman who comes to Europe to teach. There she witnesses firsthand the love between one of her students and an English doctor, and her own heart is stirred by the enigmatic, conflicted Catholic Paul Emanuel. A deeply felt, passionately wrought story of independence and love and religion. Now I have to fight the desire to pull it out and read it again :)

Day 11: A Book I Hated

I don't prattle on about 'books I hate.' Because reading is such a subjective experience and readers bring so much of their own experiences and feelings and prejudices to any given book that who's to say that something I hate might not be deeply loved by someone else? Maybe even someone I like and respect? So call me coward, but I will do no more than admit that William Faulkner does not work for me.

Day 12: A Book I Used to Love But Don't Now

That's not the same as 'books I hate', plus I'm in my forties now so surely some of the books I've read much earlier in my life don't resonate the same these days. However . . . see that phrase about 'in my forties now'? Seems my memory has gone the way of my slender waist and I can't actually bring to mind anything that fits. I keep a reading log, including marking books I've re-read, but nothing is jumping out at me. Sigh. Good thing I was so many days behind so you get at least one or two titles out of today.

Day 13: Favorite Writer

Ha!!! I just had to answer this question for a interview I did with the Romantic Times, only they asked me for five favorites. And even then it took an agonizingly long time to answer. So I'm simply grabbing one name out of three or four or twelve I could contribute and saying: Tana French.

French writes the Dublin Murder Squad books, but this isn't a series in the traditional sense. Each of the four books has featured a different first-person POV character, each of them attached in some way to the Dublin Murder Squad, and each book is a separate dense psychological masterpiece not only about the specific crime being investigated but about the investigating detective's own life and psyche. They're not simple, and they're often bleak, but there remains a beauty to her writing and a generosity to her complex characters that leaves me breathless.

And just to make up for my laziness (and to ensure I don't forget tomorrow!) I'll jump one day ahead and give you:

Day 14: Favorite Book by my Favorite Writer

THE LIKENESS by Tana French

Her first book, IN THE WOODS, had a controversial ending (or, perhaps, non-ending) that left many readers frustrated. Her second book, THE LIKENESS, is simply brilliant. Cassie Maddox is the POV character, a former undercover officer who worked murder for a time but left after the events of book one. In THE LIKENESS, a woman is murdered–a woman using the name Cassie went undercover by several years before and bearing an uncanny resemblance to Cassie. So she goes undercover, layering identity upon identity, while trying to discover who in the household of college students she's living with wants her (or is it her?) dead.

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