Monday, December 27, 2021

2021: A Beautiful Stack of Fiction

1. News of the World - Paulette Jiles

2. These Happy Golden Years - Laura Ingalls Wilder

3. The Long Winter - Laura Ingalls Wilder

4. Little Town on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder

5. The Pull of the Stars - Emma Donoghue

6. The Four Winds - Kristin Hannah

7. Hamnet - Maggie O'Farrell

8. The Night Watchman - Louise Erdrich

9. Shuggie Bain - Douglas Stuart

10. None But the Lonely Heart - Richard Llewellyn

11. Peyton Place - Grace Metalious

12. Getaway - Zoje Stage

13. Wonderland - Zoje Stage

14. The Talented Miss Farwell - Emily Gray Tedrowe


It's pretty clear that I was in need of some comfort reading early in 2021. Sometimes nothing will do but to get your Bonnethead on. Team Laura to the rescue.

Happy author discoveries: Paulette Jiles, Maggie O'Farrell, Douglas Stuart, Zoje Stage (!), and Emily Gray Tedrowe.

This author never disappoints: Emma Dongohue, Louise Erdrich

What's another term for Guilty Pleasure? The reason I'm asking is because some book bloggers are all huffy about this phrase, saying that no guilt should be attached to reading. But there's still that slightly naughty and satisfying feeling, the feeling of wallowing in gooey delicious escapism. The FUCK, YEAH! feeling. All of which is to say: Peyton Place by Grace Metalious.

Let's not and say we did, except I did, and now I want to say I did not: 
If I could unread a book, there would be two on my fiction list this year: The Four Winds and None But the Lonely Heart. Kristin Hannah got overly melodramatic (the time and setting is already bleak; no need to crank it up) with The Four Winds and also got on my nerves with jarring 21st century dialogue coming out of her early 20th century characters' mouths. Richard Llewellyn began with a thoughtful character study of Ernie Mott and his Ma, then decided to out-Dickens Charles Dickens during long and boring tangents.  So many "colorful" characters were painfully stuffed into this book. Uh, Mr. Llewellyn, it's a novel, not a clown car nor a pair of Spanx.


Sam said...

Despite the couple you would want to unread if that were possible, this is a nice mix of the old and the new. We all needed lots of comfort reading this year...and probably next year, too.

Bybee said...

I saw that you read Little Big Man. That's been on my list for years! I guess I've been shying away from it because I liked the movie so much.

Yes, comfort reading! I'm feeling more and more like it's time to break out True Grit again.