Friday, March 30, 2007

Vacation Reading

Spring Break is upon many of us - if not this week, then next. For me - in addition to seeking sun and a beach, break has been about a suitcase full of books to read. It seems to be the only time I have to tune out work and lose myself in a good book anymore!!

So I thought I would share a book that I just finished and won't be accompanying me on my trip to Aruba - but it might be one you want with you. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield has been the first book in a long time that I could lose myself in. A ghost story, a mystery, a riddle wrapped in an enigma.....this book was fantastic!!

It starts with a young bookseller's daughter who has been lost in books her entire life - and has been living in the shadow of a twin who died when she was young, but who has never been spoken about by the family. She makes her living as a biographer of persons from literary history. She is invited by Vida Winter, a world-famous author, to complete her biography. A daunting task as Ms. Winter has told at least 19 versions of her life story.

In telling the tale of these two women and the mystery of a publication missing the last story - the author's remarkable style draws you in and makes the book hard to put down. Here are two of my favorite excerpts:

"I never read without making sure I am in a secure position. I have been
like this ever since the age of seven when, sitting on a high wall and reading
The Water Babies, I was so seduced by the descriptions of underwater life that I
unconsciously relaxed my muscles. Instead of being held buoyant by the
water that so vividly surrounded me in my mind, I plummeted to the ground and
knocked myself out. I can still feel the scar under my fringe now.
Reading can be dangerous."

"I used to think that I loved rain, but in fact I hardly knew it. The
rain I loved was genteel town rain, made soft by all the obstacles the skyline
put in its path, and warmed by the rising heat of the town itself. On the
moors, enraged by the wind and embittered by the chill, the rain was
vicious. Needles of ice stung my face and, behind me, vessels of freezing
water burst against my shoulders.

Happy birthday."

Not a beach read - but certainly one you can get lost in!! What are you reading this break?

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