So, I don’t talk about this often but I am (at the ripe old age of 39) about 9 months out from getting my Bachelor’s degree- it’s been a long road and I frequently feel burned out BUT I am almost finished so there’s no giving up now, right?
As such, I often am too mush-brained to get on here and blog so sometimes in the next few months there will likely be long pauses- if you start to miss me too much to carry on with your day feel free to reach out to me either here or on our FB page and I will at least say hello.
My most recent reader question was sent to me via FB messenger and it was a question about my reading habits.
Read on to learn what this Chick loves to read when I have the time!
I really enjoy your writing! I am always looking for new authors to read or book recommendations and I’m wondering what you enjoy and who your favorite writer is?
Also, I loved that gyro soup! Are there any more posts like that one coming in the future? Thanks!
Grace, Barnstable, MA
First of all, thank you so much for that! I love writing almost as much as the most valued elements of my life- it can be hard to make time for it when so much of that energy gets devoted to the papers I write for class but it is very nice to know that when I find time there are people like yourself who are enjoying what I do here!
Aaaaah, that gyro soup blog- who would have expected the popularity of that post?! I certainly didn’t. It is absolutely delicious and while I can’t promise you will love any of the recipe posts I do in the future in quite the same way, I promise I will keep posting recipes to introduce you folks to the deliciousness that gets made in our house quite often and hopefully you find more beauties to add to your arsenal.
I read a great deal of different types of authors;
I enjoy Nora Roberts, Sara Shepard and Sophie Kinsella (there is much more to her collection than just the Shopaholic series- ‘Remember Me?’ and ‘The Undomestic Goddess’ will make you howl with laughter).
Elin Hilderbrand also writes phenomenal fiction- she explores the nuances of relationships unflinchingly; if you haven’t read her writing ‘The Castaways’, ‘The Rumor’, ‘A Summer Affair’, and ‘Here’s to Us’ are just a few to get you started (‘The Rumor’ is delicious summer reading).
Christopher Moore, whose books are filled with dark humor; ‘Bloodsucking Fiends’, ‘You Suck’, and ‘Bite Me’ all 3 with the subheading ‘A Love Story’ are all very morbid and funny if you like that kind of thing- as is ‘The Stupidest Angel’, which I can give you nothing about without spoilers and it’s too good so check it out.
Joe Hill is another favorite of mine- I read his debut novel ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ when it first came out and it’s fantastic, as is ‘The Fireman’, which I just finished. He is good at painting that creepy, something-is-coming-down-your-hallway-but-you’re-too-scared-to-run-vibe that I love. I think he got that from his father, who is Stephen King.
Who is my all-time favorite author.
Stephen King was the first author whose books I gobbled down whole- no matter how creepy, off-putting the subject matter or the sometimes disgusting detail he writes in. I started reading his work at 9 years old after watching ‘Stand By Me’, and sought out the story that inspired the movie, ‘The Body,’ which is in his collection ‘Different Seasons’.
By the time I was 14 I had read everything he had written up to that point. I think I can credit him for my love of beautiful language usage in writing, my vast vocabulary and my reading comprehension. When my parents made the agreement with me that I could read his books so long as they didn’t scare me too much I don’t think any of us expected I would emerge with such a love of reading, of his work and for writing itself. He is credited as a master of horror but anybody who pigeonholes him as such hasn’t read much of his writing- he does write horror splendidly but his stories are always about so much more. The tenderness in the conversations between Gordie and Chris in ‘The Body’ are raw and embody how many preteens feel about their relationships with their parents. Every time I read the scene where Gordie breaks down and tells Chris he feels deeply that his father hates him, and Chris tells him in an adult tone that his father just doesn’t know or understand him, it gets me right in the feels. Always has.
*Update; In the 30 years since I last read ‘The Body’, my brain had scrambled a few things, and after re-reading it now, I have to correct myself. The scene where Gordie breaks down over feeling as though his Dad hates him isn’t in the novella, only in the movie which I have watched more times than I can count. In the short novel, Chris does make it clear that he has noticed the apathy from Gordie’s Dad that is projected at Gordie which strikes a chord and embarrasses him that it’s so clear to others. Still beautiful and poignant, made more so by the book version of Gordie’s stoic response; he doesn’t burst into tears, but he also doesn’t knock his friend a solid one to the jaw for pointing out his parent’s shortcomings, which King notes would have been the expected response in that era.
I recently reread ‘Different Seasons’– the first story in the 4 part collection is ‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption’. Yeah, I know. Everyone has seen the movie and they did keep somewhat true to the bones of the novella that inspired it but nothing beats the gorgeousness of the writing in the short novel. It is conversational, quick moving and engrossing even if you know how it ends- I had forgotten how much I like Red and Andy Dufresne’s world. It is compelling for a place you never want to actually be yourself. Watching Red try to figure out how Andy made things happen from his perspective, where he was kept largely in the dark, is fascinating. And if the last lines of the story don’t move you, I don’t know what will. Read it. Just do it. You won’t be sorry.
And then if you decide you want the creepy stuff it’s all there waiting for you as well- just read ‘Bag of Bones’ and tell me I’m wrong.
Thank you for reaching out to me, Grace!
I hope you find something good to read!
Until next time!
The Chick and her Chickadee