I've been doing some binge reading lately to avoid my ever growing back to uni reading pile. The latest book I've read is Marian Keyes' 'The Mystery of Mercy Close'. And I think I have a girl (woman?) crush on Marian. Her books make me laugh out loud, they're always so unpredictable, and I find I always see something in them that reminds me of my own life or family. And she's not afraid to tackle big issues, and I find she does it well. Her books aren't just a bonkbuster or cheesy romance; they have heart and wit and good writing. I literally think I want to be her when I grow up.
Before that I read 'Wool' by Hugh Howley. I liked this a lot, the writing really threw you into the situation and drew you into the characters. I liked how the writing and the metaphors etc often reflected the protagonist of the section you were reading. This is definitely a technique I would like to pick up on. I just hoped for the collection of shorts to overall be more atmospheric and wow me a little more; all together this was a really, really good book, just short of great.
However, I feel slightly ashamed when taking these books out at the library as they aren't technically genres you could call literary. I was fine when taking out my previous read ('The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry'; so cute and heartwarming and unusual, it just made me cry) because, you know, it was reviewed and loved by real literay people. It wasn't just loved by the masses. This makes me sound like a snobbish elitist, but I feel better about reading a book when it's respected. And I shouldn't, I really shouldn't.
I figure sometimes you need a little trash; chick lit can do you no harm, and often teen fiction showcases some great imagination. When I went through my first bad heartbreak, I used to spend hours in the library reading an absolutely terrible paranormal romance series which, no, didn't exactly open up my literary horizons, but provided an escape to another world which was so very very different from my own. Books are always the most amazing distraction, and sometimes lightness is what we search for. Just as our clothes change with seasons, our reading changes with our mood. And that's the beautiful thing about books, they're so very personal.