Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

A Bouquet of Books

Though I reveled in the reading of much poetry during April, I did, of course, squeeze in time to read some books.  April proved to be an eclectic assortment of reading.  I liken my selections to ambling in the fields and randomly selecting whatever bloom which appealed to me.  I do that at times when browsing through the library. I pick up a book for its cover art. Another for its title. That one because of the author. And this because of the genre. I usually end up with more books than I have time for and those pesky reminders to either return or renew my selections perch in my email basket.

Here’s my batch of April reads, although I notice it’s a bit of a redundancy now that GoodReads is posting more complete reviews when posting our updates.

1. Lady Susan by Jane Austen.
One of the progeny thoughtfully gave me a handsome collection of Jane Austen’s works, and surprise! I was not aware of Lady Susan, an epistolary novel, signifying a buttercream in life’s box of chocolates. Yum!

Not your usual Austen heroine by any means. Lady Susan is attractive yet conniving with loose moral standards. She is rather quite naughty, actually. Recently widowed Susan manages to wheedle a long term visit with her in-laws and it is through letters readers discover Lady Susan’s plot to marry the much younger Reginald while arranging a match for her daughter, whom she openly disregards. Epistolary novels are not easy reads, due to the lack of plot continuity, but halfway in I definitely remained intrigued.  We’ll see how Hollywood manages this one some day.

2. Critical Condition by Richard L. Mabry
Reviewing for BookLooks means trying out new authors and the latest reads in Christian publication, and it has proved a good fit for my reading schedule. This latest pick was an author I’m unfamiliar with and being drawn to faith-based murder mysteries, I gave it try.  I know, faith-based murder mystery sounds like an oxymoron, yet it’s a genre that means I enjoy a novel of suspense without the worry of undue gore, bedding, and swearing.  I just want to kick back and figure out who dunnit.

While I appreciated the plot, I was often annoyed with the writing style of multiple points-of-view and extraneous plot turns.  I might try out another of his books, just as a matter of being open-minded.


3. Understanding Great Literature: Romeo and Juliet by Thomas Thrasher.
Although I’ve been teaching R&J for over ten years, I am always looking for a new way to understand this timeless play, especially since it is usually the first introduction to Shakespeare for students. I am always attracted to quick reads with depth and Thrasher fills the bill with this entry in the Understanding Great Literature collection. An unexpected bonus was the Shakespeare bio and timeline.

4. A Reader’s Book of Days: True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writers for Every Day of the Year by Tom Nissley.
This would make a great desktop calendar because in book form I quickly lost interest beyond skimming beyond random days. Otherwise, Nissley provides an entertaining and informative tome containing odd and interesting bits about writers. And that in itself makes it a worthwhile read.


5. Contrary to Popular Belief: More than 250 False Facts Revealed by Joey Green
This is more or less an abridged Fun factoids are always fascinating. A dipper for those moments when crunching a quick breakfast bite, or needing a quick pop of reading before bedtime.

6. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Having watched the movie I deemed it time to read the book.  I did indeed enjoy my weekend curling up time with this one.

7. Captives and Outcasts by Jill Williamson
These were also BookLook review books. I read Captives earlier in the year and pounced on Outcasts when I saw it. I do like to read series books as consecutively as possible. This is a dystopia series that touches on some mature themes, even for the Christian market. What would the future be like if society gave in living for the moment knowing they could die any time? The plotline is intriguing enough to get me past the author’s penchant for multi-view presentation.



I hope to squeeze in more reading in the midst of grading AP essays.  There are days when nothing but a book can clear the mind of screen fuzz.  Anyone else out there find themselves avoiding the computer or even their iDevices due to screen overload?  This is why I cannot possibly see books ever going out of print.  Slipping a page, that paper to brain connection puts my head back in place, ever so nicely.



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2 thoughts on “A Bouquet of Books

  1. “Lady Susan” looks good. I haven’t heard of that one.

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