Thursday, January 31, 2013

In My Library

I'd like to say that I've read about a dozen books lately because I've been sick, but that would just be a blatant lie.  In all honesty, I've read about a dozen books lately because I have a serious book addiction.  You can always tell when I've gotten a new book because the carpets haven't been vacuumed, the dishes and trash are overflowing, I'm running out the door late for work, and Bear has given up all hope of anyone playing tug-of-war with him.

I've always been that person who can tackle a 1,000-page book in the matter of days.  (Seriously, that last Harry Potter?  24 hours.)  I've been seeing a lot of fellow bloggers talk about their reads lately and been asking for recommendations, so I thought I'd throw my two cents in.

First up is Christopher Moore's Sacré Bleu. Set in Paris in 1890, it follows two French Impressionist painters (one of them a real historical figure) as they investigate the death of friend and colleague Vincent van Gogh.  Okay, now let me backtrack a little; if you've never read anything by Christopher Moore, start now.  I've devoured every book he's written and this man is hysterically funny.  He treats the world around us with a cynical irreverence that is just so wrong, yet so right.  Sacré Bleu really made me appreciate that college Art History class, and includes pictures of the paintings so you actually know what the hell is going on.  I think I'm doing a pretty bad job of this book review, but just go out and buy it anyway.  You'll be glad you did.

Next is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  I remember my mom reading this series when I was a kid, and so I decided to pick it up, and I am SO GLAD that I did.  The first thing that attracted me to this series is the fact that it's a series.  Because I'm such a voracious reader, I like having something that can hold my attention for a while.  And the eighth installment is due out this fall.  Also, each book is around the 1,000-page mark.  Pretty dang satisfying in the "bang for your buck" category, if you ask me.  Now, on to the plot!  The book STARTS in 1946, when Claire Randall, a former WWII nurse, and her husband, Frank, are on a second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands.  While on an herb-collecting expedition, Claire steps through a stone henge and transports back in time to 1743, where she meets Scottish outlaw Jamie Fraser (who is daggone sexy by all literary accounts).  This book (and series - I'm already on the second book) has it all: murder, intrigue, magic, love, hate, sex, violence, tears, melodrama, and a good dose of dry Scottish humor.  The characters are all vivid and complex, the dialogue is authentic, and Gabaldon's historical accounts are nail-on-the-head accurate.  How could you NOT want to read this?

So there you have it, my lovelies.  Go pick up a book and get yo' self some culture.

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