The first half of last year, I was quite excited to be introducing new editions of my two historical novels and the first in my series. There was so much work to do! When it finally wound down in the fall, I was able to read a few books that have been sitting on my table, as well as a couple that colleagues had given me to read. I want to take a moment to talk about the best out of the list; the best book I read last year.
There are only three titles that stick out in my memory: Pastoral (Andre Alexis), When Atheism Becomes Religion: America’s New Fundamentalists (Christ Hedges), and Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Three Stories (Truman Capote). My stack is still quite high, and I can’t even get into all the books I have loaded on my Kindle, and the research that I am planning to do to write yet another book.
You might remember my article on my top authors that came out just a few weeks ago. There are several books there that I openly recommend by those authors (as in their entire catalog). There was also one that I mentioned but didn’t get into a great deal of detail about. That book was the last one in the list above. Since I’ve already written a review on the book, I won’t be returning to my thoughts in that regard.
Despite my feelings toward the characters, the racism and some other issues—which, in reality, accurately depict the times of which Capote was writing, I highly recommend this edition of the novella (see the link above). There are three more stories included in the volume. Whether you are reading this recommendation because you’re a writer or just a reader looking for another read, this book will thoroughly satisfy.
Capote’s skill is supreme. This fact is undeniable in my esteem because, despite how I felt about the topics or characters, I noticed it. My first thought was utter regret at having not given this man time in my past, and that my instructors never thought to include him in the curriculum. Missing out on the beauty of every turn of phrase led me to write the review. I wanted to bring more attention to him, as if Capote needs it. Considering what I have said about it not being on the curriculum and taking so long for me to get around to reading him, perhaps he does.
I can’t express enough how important it is to read great books. Unfortunately, great books is a subjective assessment. The things I like compared to the reading list of others doesn’t always agree. Still, I insist that everyone who reads this post get a copy of that book and read all of the stories contained therein. Writers, you will thank me, because you will find true artistry to study. Readers, you will have read something worthwhile.
So, what are my reading plans for the upcoming year? I am not sure yet. I am hoping to sort that out. I have several choices, but I would also like to get started on researching and thinking about another book. The Children of Hurin sits with my Kindle, insistent that I give it some time. Perhaps…
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