So in last week’s Salon, I lamented that I was in a little bit of a reading slump. I finished – but wasn’t crazy about – The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, then started and quickly abandoned Love Falls by Esther Freud, and repeated the same with Flies on the Butter by Denise Hildreth.
I hate being in a reading slump, don’t you?
I needn’t have worried, as I currently have no less than 22 library books on my night table (it’s almost embarrassing to participate in Library Loot these days! 🙂 and surely something was in that stash that could rescue me from the reading malaise.
Sure enough, the answer came in the form of Jayne Pupek’s debut novel, Tomato Girl, which I am enjoying very much. Just when you think that things could not descend more into madness for 11 year old Ellie Sanders and her family, Pupek shocks and stuns her reader with a never-ending roller-coaster fright ride of dysfunction that makes for a powerful story. Last night’s thunderstorm forced me off the computer earlier than planned and into the bedroom with this wonderful novel, and the storm was a fitting backdrop for the darkness that rocks Tomato Girl. I’m hoping to finish this one today. (Well, there is some major straightening up that is needed around this house … but somehow, the 100 pages that I have left of Tomato Girl are much more appealing …. )
My audio book this week has been The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich, which I am also enjoying. I have one pet peeve with audios, though, and that is this: it irks me when female narrators assume a male voice by dropping their tone a few octaves. Note to the producers of audios who do this: hire a male narrator already! It drives me nuts, especially in the case of The Painted Drum which is a compelling, engrossing story but one that is now distracting me because of the male narration in the second half. So, The Painted Drum is now among my 22 library books, and I’ll be finishing it via the print version instead of on audio. No matter … I have a few other audios lined up, and I’m thinking that To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf might be this week’s listen.
I’m glad to be out of my reading slump. Those are never fun.
Have you gotten stuck in a quagmire of a reading slump lately? And if so, what book pulled you out of it?