So I’m exploring all these new-to-me authors who fall under the category of “literary fiction,” according to the Adult Reading Round Table. I have this handy list from a fellow librarian, and my, am I having fun with it. For some of the authors, it’s clear to me that reading one book is more than enough. However, I’m amazed and energized by the number of authors whose work inspires the reaction, “Where have you been all my life?”
Chris Bohjalian, where have you been all my life?
Marisa de los Santos, where have you been all my life?
See? See what fun I’m having?
I’m even doing the second-chance thing with some authors. For instance, my book club read Geraldine Brooks’ novel March a couple of years ago. Except that I didn’t. I don’t know if I’ve read Little Women too many times or what, but I just could not get going with March. And then, lo and behold, Geraldine Brooks came up on my handy book list, and I wanted to get her checked off my list, so I tried again with People of the Book.
And my gosh, am I glad that I did.
Geraldine Brooks, where have you been all my life? And why, oh why, didn’t I appreciate you before?
People of the Book is a fantastic read. Ms. Brooks has a gift for moving her settings back-and-forth between contemporary culture and centuries past. And each story from the past has a link to the eponymous book in the title. It’s sheer craftsmanship, I’m telling you.
And I love that the contemporary setting is in Sarajevo. I never knew much about Sarajevo, except from the news stories back in the 1990’s, about the violence and the ethnic cleansing and the other unhappy events that were newsworthy. I’m grateful for a more thoughtful, literary view of an Eastern European city, particularly this one.
Well, I’ll tell you what. I’m going back to try again with March.
Except I’ll have a terrible time getting through this author list, if I keep falling in love with the authors and passionately pursuing and reading every book they’ve ever written.
And that, my darlings, is a beautiful problem to have.
Love you & leave you,