Vacation

I’m on vacation this week, which means lots of reading and relaxing — and no reviewing. I’ll be back next week with book reviews. 

9780804170154On my vacation, I’ve read two books I loved: The Painter, by Peter Heller, which came out last year, and Hold Still, by Sally Mann, just published.

If I were teaching a class called “How to Write a Novel”,  I would use the opening lines of The Painter as an example of how to grab a reader’s attention:

I never imagined I would shoot a man. Or be a father. Or live so far from the sea.

(By the way, I just read the advance reader’s copy of a terrific novel with the title How to Write a Novel, by Melanie Sumner, that will be published as a paperback original in early August. I enjoyed every page of this clever and endearing book, and what I loved most was the voice of the 12.5 year old (yes, that’s how she refers to herself) narrator, Aristotle. If you liked Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (and who didn’t?), you’ll have a great time with How to Write a Novel.)

02dde0b11247a412ef5ab2d18f7ba165I think Hold Still is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. It doesn’t seem fair that Sally Mann is not only a renowned photographer but a talented writer as well. Don’t be tempted to read the book electronically, because the photographs — and there are many — are integral to the story, and I think you need to see them on the printed page.

IMG_1535I’m in the middle of The Rocks, by Peter Nichols, which I brought along because it seemed like such a vacation book — it’s good, but I’m able to put it down. There’s so much else to do, especially when the sun is shining!

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