Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer Reading

I recently finished Wallace Stegner's 560 page novel The Big Rock Candy Mountain, about the 30 year struggles of the Mason Family as they navigate life Out West in the early 20th century, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Stegner is a masterful storyteller (Pulitzer Prize & National Book Award winner... people... he knows what's he'd doing) and his character development is really extraordinary. His ability to so accurately portray the very different voices of his characters, both male and female, is a gift. Don't be turned off by the length... you can't put it down... and even with all I've been doing this month I was able to finish it (and was sorry to see it end).

If you've read anything by Wallace Stegner I know you'll need no convincing, if not, you should also consider reading Crossing To Safety which is one of my all time favorite books. While Stegner's portrayal and understanding of human psychology and the complexity of our emotional relationships is present in both of these books, the story line, setting, and era are completely different... and both worth reading.

**These are not womens beach books so... men... feel free to dig in yourselves


Danielle said...

Just catching up here. Thanks for the reading recommendation! I just finished a book for my book club, so I need some fresh ideas.
Congrats on the house! SO exciting (and nerve-wracking). It looks beautiful! I know the Furious family will make it feel like home in no time!

Mrs Furious said...

Thanks :)
Mr F and I have just been talking furniture arrangement... kind of hard to do having only seen the place for 20 minutes and lacking all measurements but much more fun than purging the garage ;)
Hope all is well!!

Deb said...

Angle of Repose is amazing, too. (I set a goal once of reading all the fictional Pulitzers, and it was such a great experience.) I'll definitely pick your reco up for summer reading. Thanks.

(At some point an appraisal will be done of the house -- have your realtor forward you the floorplan the appraiser develops. That will give you room measurements.)

Mrs Furious said...

ah yes... they just did that here... I will do that thanks :)

Feener said...

my first book club i joined (they had been around for a while and i joined later) they picked angle of repose. i picked it up and trudged through it. i didn't enjoy it to be honest. but i had to read it as it was my first book club. i get there that night and NO one read it. NOT one other person.
when i look back on the book it sticks in my mind. very vivid descriptions. i am glad that i read it.

Mrs Furious said...

hmmm I haven't read Angle of Repose so I can't speak to that for comparison purposes. Read "Crossing to Safety".
Also I almost never read my book club selections... always felt more assignment like then enjoyable.

Deborah said...

I have read Angle of Repose and will admit, it is challenging. But it will never leave you.

Mr Furious said...

'Crossing to Safety' is indeed a great book. And, no, not a woman's book.

Julie said...

I am definitely going to read "Crossing to Safety" this summer. Looks like a really good story from what I read about it on Amazon.

John Howard said...

Sounds like a good book to be reading while going through all the stress you have been lately, to keep things in perspective.

Anyway, I've never heard of this book or the author, I'll have to check it out next time I'm at the library.

Nutmeg said...

I'm on the "angle of repose" bandwagon there.

I'll have to try crossing to safety.

I'm currently in field season mode so only fluff bedtime reading for me. But next fall, I think I might try that challenge deb had. Sounds amazing.

Mrs Furious said...

You'll love it.

It's true... sometimes escaping into someone else's hell is a good stress reliever.
If you're at all interested in early West stuff... homesteading/gold rush/bootlegging... then you'll enjoy it.

I'm so surprised about Angle of Repose... I've only read these two books and they are written at both the start and towards the end of his career and are both so readable... I'm intrigued now and will have to go check it out.

Kiki said...

I am always looking for good books to read, I'll take your recommendation to B & N tomorrow!!! I'm looking forward to finding a book I'll like, its seems kind of hard to find one of those lately!!!

Susan said...


Go to your local independent bookstore; they'll have a ton of recommendations for good books. Tell the bookseller what you like and they'll steer you to something appropriate.

Loved Angle of Repose, loved Big Rock Candy Mountain, am holding off on Crossing to Safety as sure-fire winner when I can't find anything else I like. I also read the new Philip Fradkin biography of Wallace Stegner--it was very informative and gave some good insights on how his life spilled into his writing.

If you are looking for good reads try: Handling Sin by Michael Malone, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, Mudbound by Hillary Jordan, Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, the Lymond series by Dorothy Dunnett--I could go on and on, but without knowing what you like, it is tough to make informed recommendations.

Enjoy your reading!

Mrs Furious said...

I hope you enjoy your selection!

Thanks for the comment. I'm taking your list to the library tomorrow. :)

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