Reading

So little time, so many books . . .

I read, read, read, as all writers do. Often, I have two or three or four books going at once, and usually one is fiction and one is nonfiction. I particularly enjoy books about the West and about World War II, but have a wide range of interests filled and excited by books.

My current favorites include:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  This book is set during World War II.  The stories of a blind girl and a young German soldier are told in alternating chapters.  Each struggles with hardship and the terrible circumstances arising out of the war.  The strands of their lives finally converge.  Tony Doerr received the 2015 Putlizer Prize for fiction for this book.

Spider-Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman.  The daughter of Tony Hillerman has continued the stories of Jim Chee, Joe Leaphorn and Bernadina Manuelito.  I felt as if I were back in the fascinating Navajo country I first found in Tony Hillerman’s stories.  Anne’s book won a Spur award for first mystery.  She is a worthy successor to the stories of these characters.

Walking Nature Home, A Life’s Journey by Susan J. Tweit.  This memoir is a navigation of Susan’s life from an early diagnosis of a life-threatening illness through healing in the natural world.  Her words are lyrical, her images striking and lovely, and her stories speak to the heart and mind.  The constellations by which she navigates head each chapter and guide her writing.

Read these books, and then follow the authors to their other books. You’ll be well-rewarded.

The Maisie Dobbs Mystery Series by Jacqueline Winspear

My long time and all time favorites include:

Fiction:

A Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin, a magical tale set in New York City and elsewhere. I read it one hot summer on a dock in a lake in Idaho. I shivered so much, I had to read it from beneath my beach towel. Any book written by Mark Helprin is on my long time favorite list.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron, a fascinating book about a book.

Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy

All Good Women by Valerie Miner

All books by Alan Furst, but my favorite is The Polish Officer.

Nonfiction:

Soul of Nowhere and House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest by Craig Childs. All of Craig Childs’s books are my favorites.

Brain Rules by John Medina.

The River That Flows Uphill: From the Big Bang to the Big BrainA Brain for All Seasons; and Global Fever, all by William Calvin. I learned more history, more science, and more sociology in these books than in many years of schooling.

Broken Country and Sky’s Witness by C. L. Rawlins, all about Wyoming.

Sky-Time by Robert Michael Pyle, a year in Gray’s River, Washington.