Return to Reading: Three Good Books

I am just nuts about books. I have been, and always will be, a voracious reader who hoards and treasures books. I have multiple copies of my very favorite books so that no matter what happens, I will always have them. (My most collected books so far: Great Maria and Floating Worlds, both by Cecelia Holland.) I can’t imagine going through a day without reading. I have books stacked up in a reading queue and more on hold at the library. I am a reader.

Except that suddenly stopped this spring. Around the time my rheumatologist moved me to stronger drugs I realized that I was having a lot of trouble with vocab recall and speech, and I was really struggling to read. Maybe I just needed a better book, I thought, and kept prowling book stores and the library hunting for that illusive great read. It just didn’t matter; no matter what the book was my mind just skittered around and refused to engage in the story. A book that would usually take a few days to read dragged on for a couple of weeks; by the time I finished it I couldn’t remember what it was about. Crazy. Thank you scleroderma!!

Last month I scored a form of CellCept that would play nice with my digestive system and finally settled into a consistent drug regimen. I think that it actually takes weeks (and months) for the full benefit of these immunosuppressant drugs, but this month I have actually finished three (pretty darn good) books, and the last one I raced through in just a few days. OK, the drug is also causing some sleep disruption, but I’m finally reading again!! Woohoo! Here are the books of October:

MacKenzie is my reading companion. 🙂

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

This book is a continuation of the Millennium series by the deceased Stieg Larsson. Oh, my goodness. Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are back. If you aren’t already familiar with these characters, let me just say that Blomkvist is an investigative reporter who is the champion of truth, loyal to his friends, famous for huge exposés, and sometimes hauled into court. Salander is… well, she is different. She’s brilliant, a computer hacker extraordinaire, a survivor, a champion, and probably a sociopath. She is broken, and she if fabulous. This book brings back the flavor of the previous books with the same intricate plotting; a murder, a conspiracy, convoluted electronic trickery, and the pace of a perfect thriller. I don’t think that it was quite as dark as Larsson’s books, but it was still a really good read.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Sometimes a book is more of an experience than a story. OK, did I mention that I’m having vocab recall and brain fog issues? Reading this book just messed with my head but was so amazing that I kept going. The story unpacks in bits and pieces back and forth in time as we learn about the life of Dorrigo Evans, an Australian doctor of the last century. Dorrigo falls in love, goes to war, survives the horrific ordeal of building a railroad in the jungle as a Japanese prisoner of war, becomes a famous war hero, marries, has children, and carries a book of Japanese death poems. It is a magical story of love, guilt, endurance, survival, betrayal, and endless charges ahead in the face of impossible odds. I’m not completely sure that I understand this book, but it haunts me still.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

The Narrow Road just warmed me up for this one. Once again I was reading a rich and complex novel that centered on the life of one anchoring character, Holly Sykes. The plot is broken into 6 segments that move forward in time (thank you, Mr. Mitchell!) but also loop and reconnect to characters and events in the other sections. Holly is extraordinary in that she hears voices and has accurate premonitions; the plot deals with these supernatural elements but also builds rich characters and situations that kind of left me stunned. It was with this book that I realized that I was once again a reader. I was immersed in the story, drawn to the characters, and caught off guard by twists and turns in the plots. This book had several story threads going at once, and it should have been confusing, but it wasn’t at all. I loved it and even cried at the end.

Three good books in a row! When I logged them into Goodreads today I noticed that two of the books are on a list for the best books of 2015, and the third is on the Nook Best Books List. Yep! They were just great and what I needed to return to reading. The number one book on the 2015 Tournament of Books list is one called Station Eleven. Hey, it is a science fiction! Hmmm… I may have to check that out.

Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and two exceptionally spoiled kittens. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

21 thoughts on “Return to Reading: Three Good Books”

  1. Guilty, I didn’t read the entire blog yet, I’m still excited about my own half-way point for a Christmas gift. However, I just saw this book, The Girl In the Spider Web, this weekend. I’m reading The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest now. I must say, part of me is excited to see the follow-up and if the author can do justice for Steig Larson, but my initial reaction was: “Aren’t they done screwing with this girl’s life yet?” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy her as a character, but very few series have I been content to believe she went on to live an ordinary life. She deserves one. Hope the reading goes well for you.

  2. Yay for books. Im an avid reader myself. I love going on goodreads when ive finished a book and marking it as read and give it a rating. Cheap thrills. The books you have read sound great. Might have to put them on my to-read list..which I might add is growing very large. So many books!!!

    1. I know. I just love that moment when I click that I’m done with the book and I’ve recorded my rating. Most of the time I don’t put in a review (unless the book was absolutely fabulous or too horrible to not call it for other readers).

      1. I don’t review books. Well I haven’t yet. I was going to review this one book I really disliked, but then it had all these amazing reviews and I was like, what the hell…It truly sucked. should speak up haha!

      2. One day I lost it and put in a review that the author had gone down the rabbit hole and wasn’t even trying to move his plot along anymore. It was a series, and clearly I will die before we get to the end. Oops. Some people loved the book, but I got some likes so I wasn’t the only disgusted fan.

      3. hahahhh that’s awesome. I gave this book one star, then went to read others reviews and people were raving. I was like WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE! There is nothing worse than a shit book, and theres nothing worse than making yourself finish it !!!

  3. I miss reading so much. I used to love to read, and hoarded books on vacations and such. But since having kids I have very little me-time, so to compress all my intrests and get as much done as possible, the closest to reading I get, is audiobooks, while knitting of course. It’s not exactly the same, but it will have to do for the forseeable future.

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