A post NOT about my children…

I’m in the process of categorizing my old posts, and it occurred to me that nearly all of my posts are in the category “Sophia.”  Yes, she’s 2 and she rules my life, but I do occasionally think about other things.  Here’s my latest thought with a question for you:

I just got up from lying down during the girls naptime frustrated with the way my current novel is going. I’m reading Jodi Picoult’s “Handle With Care.” It was a poorly researched choice during a recent Barnes & Noble venture.  Well, 200 pages into it, and I’m just bored and cranky.  It feels like pop trash.  Not trash like trash-y, but there’s no substance.  The writing is decent, not great.  I feel like she’s spoon feeding me plot, with predictable situations at ever corner.  Controversy and drama for the sake of controversy and drama…  The chapter’s are each from a different character’s point of view but not at all convincing that they are actually from the different character’s point of view.  Okay, this is my first Jodi Picoult novel, so I’ll not judge all of her work.  She’s got quantity for sure; somebody likes her.  But so far, I’m not impressed.

Here’s my problem.  My husband listens to my rants and says, “You can never go wrong with a classic.”  Yes, that’s his line and it has been his line for the 10 years I’ve known him.  Here’s the thing, though, I want pop without getting trash.  I want the drama and the pull of a newly written treasure without the work of wading through classic literature–that is, I’ve only got so much time (2 hours of naptime) and only so much functioning brain capacity (foggy-headed thyroid/new-mommy brain.)  The husband with the masters in literature says that finding novels like that are going to be hard to come by.

What do you think?  Can you recommend me a treasure that you’ve read in the last few years?  I’d love it if you’d leave a comment.  Tell me why you love it.

I’ll trade you. Here’s a few of my favorite novels of the last year.  (I’ve started many more and tossed them aside, finished a few others that aren’t worth mentioning, and am in the middle of a few that I can’t seem to get motivated about finishing.)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The 19th Wife: A Novel by David Ebershoff

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3 Responses

  1. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I’ve read other a few other pieces by her (you’ve probably read some non-fiction in the Honors College), but this one is special. The setting is mainly the Congo in the 50s-60s, and the central characters are the daughters of a Baptist missionary sent there to bring the Gospel to the “heathens.” The point of view shifts from daughter to daughter, and unlike your Picoult novel, you will very easily be able to distinguish each perspective…. probably because the ages and personalities vary so much. You might not be hooked in the first few chapters, but keep reading and you will fall in love with the story… it is incredible!

    • Thank you so much, Beth! I’ve also had this recommendation from another good friend. I will definitely check it out.

  2. I’m sorry I can’t help much! I’ve been undisciplined about reading at all for the last couple of years, for some reason, unless it’s some subject I’m researching (bread-making, herbs, that sort of thing). And now I’m trying to become disciplined to read more theology-type books. Maybe you can give me pointers on that!! I bet you read some great books in seminary.

    I did read a few of the Miss Julia books by Ann Ross a year or two ago, and I thought they were pretty entertaining. Very light and good for a few laughs. Good luck in your search!

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