On Books — What I’m Reading Lately


In skipping out on all of you for so much of the time these past few months, I realize I have not told you what books I’ve been reading. Well, that and Goodreads reminded me that I am twelve books behind schedule for the 52 book reading challenge. Sigh. This is the time of year that I’m behind in just about everything!

Two books that I read recently, actually devoured in a two-day span, were written by B.A. Shapiro. I first read The Art Forger, then immediately after, The Muralist. Both books were an interesting fictional look into an art world about which I knew little, and both were plenty suspenseful.

Were they perfect books? No, but very few are. I am not sure exactly what a perfect book would be, if the truth were told. I read such a variety of things that it’s impossible to nail down.

The first book, The Art Forger, was interesting because it posited a not-wholly-implausible solution for the 1990 theft of paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardener museum. There is a great interactive slide show that shows the real works stolen from the museum in the heist.

The Muralist was also enlightening. Its depiction of the artists, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner, made me want to know more. It also takes on the themes of how artists worked for the Works Progress Administration during the 1930s, and the warning signs of World War II that were so often simply ignored.

As you may or may not know, I usually read several books at once. I’ve had people tell me this is odd and confusing, but I don’t have problems keeping them separate. The consequence is that it can take me weeks (or months) to finish things. Story of my life, that!

So…what am I reading right now?

everyoneEveryone Brave is Forgiven, by Chris Cleave. I am only two chapters in, so I won’t comment except to say that this looks like it’ll be good. This book was on my list for a long time, so I am hoping to be able to give it more attention soon. It, like so many others I’ve read this year, takes place during World War II. I think part of that might be because…well, I am not sure why it is, it just is!


20483102 (2)Gutenberg’s Apprentice, by Alix Christie. This might be a slow read. I find it interesting after having lived so close to Mainz, where the story takes place, but it feels a little cumbersome so far. I am not far in, though, so will update you soon. Written from the viewpoint of Peter Schoeffer, a scribe who was unwillingly apprenticed to Gutenberg by his father, it is a little different take on the story we all know already.


24396962My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South, by Rick Bragg. I really love this man’s way with words. While one of my friends says she finds his work overwritten, I disagree. It is rich in imagery, and full of anecdotes I easily identify with. This is my last-thing-before-bed book so its short essays are perfect. Of course, I usually end up reading more than one, but wouldn’t have to.


As I told you, my to-be-read pile continues to grow. The photo at the top is just a small, small part of it, and that obviously doesn’t include what’s on my Kindle. It seems that each book read sends me in search of others, and still more. There are so many!

Two that I am really looking forward to diving into soon are The Perfume Collector, by Kathleen Tessaro, and Theodore Beza: The Man and The Myth, by Shawn D. Wright.

20160721_105326I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one last book, one that my ever-thoughtful husband found for my birthday. It’s about a Confederate general from Baltimore, who had the same last name as I (my maiden name). Major General Isaac Ridgeway Trimble looks to be intriguing. In my family genealogy, I’ve nailed down only two main Trimble lines. When I first picked up the book and saw that he was from Baltimore, I thought, “Nope, not my line.” When I started reading and learned that he had originally come from Kentucky, I reconsidered.

So, do you think I’ll ever get to the bottom of my pile? What new books are in your stack?

  • I read lots of books at the same time, too, and I’m behind on my Goodreads pledge for the year, too, so I’m in good company! It’s hard to beat Rick Bragg. . .

    • Lori East

      Yes, he is really something else. I will confess that, now that I know your Rick Bragg story, every time I think of him, I picture you on his lap. 😉