Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ramble's Top Five Recommendations: A Few Good Books

HI-yo. Been beach bummin it for awhile and picking up some cool books in the process. They aren't necessarily "hot new releases" but rather a collection of things I picked up along the way, and until now never had the time to read. Here's some I'd like to share. Go forth, read, and report back.

1.) Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. I'm kinda in this craze right now for his stuff. Known for American Gods, Coraline, and Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader (I love the gambit he runs!) this is a collection of some of his short stories. One that I am still stuck on, Closing Time, has this chilling quality that I can't explain-it's still haunting. In his ghost stories where the children are protagonist, there seems to be some force working for them; be it naivety, innocence, or some long forgotten strength we possess in our childhood, the characters march on in ignorant bliss as the reader cringes. (Don't open that door, don't follow that boy, etc. etc.)

2.) Cherry by Mary Karr. A girl after my own heart, Karr's memoir reads in such a way no matter what generation you were born into, you can relate. I found myself going back through my own journals in those formative years from 11-18, reading my own evolution. Her experiences with kissing boys, drugs, sex, and all the while returning home to her dysfunctional family sounds like a crazy childhood, but when you really think about it, whose was that different?

3.) Ava's Man by Rick Bragg. I plan to explore this a bit more in Donna In Destin as it relates to my own move to the south. This book made me laugh throughout, but I found myself sobbing at the books end. The story of Bragg's grandfather Charlie, as recreated through stories from aunt's, uncles, cousins and friends, is a heartwarming look at a South that is no more, a grandfather Bragg never knew, and a family that never forgot.

4.)Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts. Yup, just like that, I throw in a Nora Roberts book. Again, maybe it was the move to the South, but I loved this book, maybe it was because it's the perfect beach read on a sultry hot day, maybe it's because I'm a sucker for a romance. Caroline Waverly is the type of girl you wanna be, that innocent, breezy, effortlessly beautiful gal that wins the heart of the town's playboy. A nice piece of escape fiction.

5.)Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck. This was probably one major contributing factor in my move. Beck's book is geared towards career change, but I took it as overall overhaul life change. The message is pretty simple: follow your heart, follow your gut. As we all know, that's easier said than done, and Beck's advice and exercises helps really pull out of you what lies beneath, and what is holding you back.

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