Friday, April 23, 2010

Eyelids Up

One of my greatest frustrations is finding time to read. But with working two jobs (roughly 60 hours a week), and trying to stitch a little each evening, it's nearly impossible to keep that stick-to-it-iveness that the big thick juicy historical novels I love require. I have recently, however, stumbled upon a couple that just may keep my eyelids in the up position: Dennis Lehane's The Given Day and Karl Marlantes' Matterhorn.

Be forwarned. I have, I suppose, pretty unique reading tastes for a 50-something single gal. No apologies here for loving gritty historical fiction, even gorey, bloody, wartime stuff.

You know Lehane from his many books made into film, Mystic River,
Gone Baby Gone, and, most recently, Shutter Island. The Given Day has all of promise of being another page turner, one of those two family sagas, set in Boston (my town!) at the end of the first world war. I read the Prologue on the plane back from Maine last week and I'm hooked, a vignette of Babe Ruth witnessing, and then participating in, a Negro League pick-up game. It is a narrative that rings so true with its racial tensions that you feel instantly vulnerable, like another layer has been pulled back.

I also recently read the NYT Book Review piece on Matterhorn, by Karl Marlantes, a novel of the Vietnam War. Apparently 30 years in the making, it is destined to be the classic fictional account of what the Vietnam War was like to fight, with telling parallels to our present quagmire. Let me just say that about a dozen pages into mud, fog, and leaches, and I am totally there.


  1. I also love to read. So I listen to audiobooks. I get them from the library and yours may have an interloan library program as well. I listen at work, while stitching and cleaning. I download them to my computer and then load them on my ipod. You can even listen to them on your CD player while stitching.

  2. I just found your blog and have to say that I love to read too. I haven't gotten into Audible books, but love reading and holding a good book in my hands. I'm going to make note of your recommendations.


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