Now, on to something different!
It's been a while since I've done a book post, so I figured this would be the perfect time to do another one. With darkness falling earlier and earlier, these cozy fall days are made for curling up with a good book and a steaming mug of tea.
Although I've been plowing my way through Michael Connelly's Bosch series (I just can't help it; once I get into a series I need to read all of it), I've taken time off to read some other books, too.
Here are some I particularly enjoyed:
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. (Thank you, Karen, for recommending this way back in February!). I literally could not put this book down. I devoured it. So fascinating and also, so thoughtful and insightful. It's historical fiction that spans generations and continuously surprises, changing direction as life's disappointments derail the best laid plans. Lots about hunting for exotic species of plants, too (which I found irresistible).
Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann. I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasn't familiar with Sally Mann or her photographs before I read about this book. And I'm even more embarrassed to admit that what first caught my attention was the photo on NPR's website that accompanied the interview with her. The photo depicts the photographer in the car with her greyhound. Yes, I'm always easily swayed in a person's favor if I know they've rescued a greyhound -- and it turns out that Sally Mann has rescued many greyhounds. This book, though has very little to do with greyhounds. It was dense. It was long, but it was very readable and incredibly interesting.
The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Langercrantz. It's hard to imagine liking a book that continues a series started by another author, but like it I did. This is the fourth book in the Millennium series written by Stieg Larsson. If you haven't read the first three books, I'd start with them. They are dark and, at times, graphic, yet there's something so compelling about the characters. David Langercrantz did a wonderful job of picking up where Larsson left off without rehashing plots or themes.
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (pseudonym of J.K. Rowling). This is another one I wouldn't recommend reading if you haven't already read the others in the series (I'm always a bit obsessive about reading series in order). It's dark -- serial murder and rape -- but it also contains this gem:
"You could find beauty nearly anywhere if you stopped to look for it, but the battle to get through the days made it easy to forget this totally cost-free luxury existed. He carried memories like this from his childhood... the glitter of the sea as you first saw it on a morning as blue as a butterfly's wing; the mysterious emerald-and-shadow world of the Gunnera Passage at Trebah Garden; distant white sails bobbing like seabirds on blustery gunmetal waves."In the end I was left craving the next installment.
Although I enjoy reading books from a variety of genres, it's probably pretty clear by now that I love a good mystery. I also love watching TV mysteries, especially British crime dramas. Gathering evidence, catching murders... so fascinating to me. But where's the truth behind the fiction? Val McDermid explores the science and the history of solving crime, from arson to murder to computer crime, with her non-fiction book Forensics. It was a quick and easy read and sheds some light on what's true and what's not true in crime fiction.
So as not to end on a dark note, the last book I'll mention is Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic. It seems as if everyone has been reading this book (or at least everyone on Instagram). I don't usually get excited about self-help type books, but Big Magic is inspiring and encouraging and beautiful. I listened to it on audio (read by the author) as I painted in my studio. It's a call to live a creative life, to listen to the part of you that yearns to create, not as a career or a job, but because it's your responsibility and also, ultimately, the purpose of life itself. Elizabeth Gilbert's take on inspiration and creativity is refreshing in so many ways.
I recommended a couple other books in my Autumn Newsletter. Missed it? Sign up now and I'll catch you up.
So what about you? What have you been reading lately? Although I have a long to-read list, I'm always happy to add more books to it and and happy when you inspire each other in the comments, too!