This is a belated column. Normally I gurgle on about books to coincide with the annual Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts. However, life happened, and another issue got my attention this past August. Now, because I believe there is absolutely no better present than a book, I thought Iíd share some of my reading experiences from 2013.
First off the mark, I do want to talk about some of the fabulous books I was inspired to read because their authors appeared at the Festival.
For several years now, my husband has tried to convince me that Dr. Patrick Taylorís books about an Irish country doctor were a great read. Well, listening to Patrickís droll delivery this summer got me to that place. When he cracked that the helicopter droning overhead during his reading was taking him back to the Troubles in Ireland, it brought the house down and secured him top spot on my reading list. His stories are lovely; it is possible to tell a story without guts and gore and cuss words galore.
Another doctor, Vincent Lam, who also appeared on that Saturday and whose style totally intrigued me got the Talewind Books folks another sale that day. His book, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, did not disappoint. The rest of the story on that book is that my husband had bought it when the story first came out and subsequently given it away for a book sale. Hubby wasnít too impressed when my discovery of yet another of his recommendations ended up with a double purchase. On the up side, at least, Vincent is a Canadian author.
Actually, another of the books I loved this year resulted in a triple buy, a secret I havenít shared to this point. Camilla Gibbís Sweetness in the Belly was definitely worth at least one purchase; three might have been a bit of a stretch. However, she is a fantastic author and if you havenít yet read any of her books, I totally recommend them. Fortunately my friend loaned me The Beauty of Humanity Movement, and I borrowed another book of Camillaís from the library so I probably broke even.
The biggest book surprise I had this year was Kate Braidís Journeywoman: Swinging the Hammer in a Manís World. I truly loved this book. Kate can be a little salty at times, so if youíre easily offended, pass this baby by. For everyone else, put it at the top of your list.
Two of the non-Canadian books I devoured this year were the first and second parts of a trilogy by Ken Follett. Both Fall of Giants and Winter of the World were excellent books. They cover the time from before the First World War to the end of the Second World War. The third book is due out next fall; I already know what my birthday wish will be. If you like historical fiction written by a master, I heartily recommend these books.
The two books Iím most looking forward to reading in the next couple of weeks are Milk Spills and One-log Loads by Frank White. What can you say about a guy who gets his first book published at 99? Thereís hope for all us slackers yet.
Book number two is Busted by Ed Hill. Iíll be reviewing it next week, so watch for it. Iíve known Ed for a number of years and can hardly wait to read the novel.
So there you have it, fellow book addicts ó my recommendations for this year. This list is by no means exhaustive; unfortunately, the other 71 pages of this paper are spoken for. Happy reading.