Monday, November 2, 2015

It's all about connection, isn't it?

I keep reading posts about connections. Then I think about books I've read and realize they're about connections too. Then I edit a chapter of Subtraction, and yes, it's all about the connections between a dad and his dead child, and how those connections might help him grow and connect to someone else... or something... I guess I'll have to write a blurb one day, but for now I'm going with:

Special ed teacher takes road trip in search of missing child and finds himself.

Does that work for you?


Anyway, here are some books I've been reading, when I'm not writing, and they're all about connections.

Starting with Mr. Memory by Paul Michael Peters, a short, smooth, cool collection of short stories neatly bounded by the man whose memory can connect everything. My favorite introduces a woman whose cellphone connects her to everything, leaving her narcistically unconnected from everyone. Enjoy with some rich elegant complex four-star coffee.

Next is The Hardest Thing In This World by Nicole Eva Fraser, a novel of sisters and their mother, living normal but broken lives, weaving the everyday around flaws that might drive one sister to be declared insane. The author deals with mental illness and its effects tenderly and sensitively, bringing out the connections that make it all so hard, and so filled with love. Enjoy some more complex four-star coffee with this one.

Deadly Adagio by Carole Howard takes readers to the American community in Senegal, where connections are all-important in knowing what's going on and how to cope. Protagonist Emily takes a friend to the market and teaches her how to be polite without spending a fortune. But accepting the manners of female genital mutilation is a much bigger deal. And coping with her friend's murder, while husband and friends tell her to sit back and do nothing, is almost more than she can cope with. Filled with authentic detail and thoroughly intriguing and enjoyable, this is one for another four-star rich, elegant, complex coffee.

Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson introduces a character in search of connection with herself before anyone else. Every morning she wakes as a blank slate, not knowing who she or the man beside her is, not even knowing her age. Christine's confusion is very convincingly portrayed, as she struggles to create a journal connected herself to the days before. Soon she's wondering if any of her outer connections are real. A scary, evocative, convincing tale, this is one to read with a bold, dark intense five-star coffee.

E. G. Lewis' Road To Bethlehem looks at those ties that bound communities at the time of Jesus' birth, following the love story of Mary and Joseph, built around wonderfully unobtrusive research that brings their world to life. Enjoy with some smooth full-flavored well-balanced three-star coffee.

Finally, Falling Immortality by Robert Downs introduces a character who's thoroughly averse to connections. First person gritty narration might offend women readers, but it fits this character perfectly, and his penchant for escaping dire situations certainly verges on immortal. Enjoy with a bold dark five-star coffee with grounds for gritty realism.






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