I decided several weeks (possibly a month) ago that I needed to stretch my boundaries, try new things, find out what I like and don’t like in various areas. One area is reading. I tend to read the same types of things: mysteries, animal stories, historical novels, and so on. But how to expand my horizons? Occasionally, my mother will recommend something, but our tastes vary. We agree on a few things, but she enjoys more religious reading than I do.
At any rate, I decided to ask my friends (on LJ) to suggest some things I might try. I want to get out of this rut. I want to try new things, but I don’t want to just pick up books at random (though I’ve done that before and I’ve found some interesting things). I’ve got a list of things I’m trying; some I’ve loved and some I’ve … had trouble getting into. For example, I tried some Brother Cadfael book by Ellis Peters based on a recommendation – I just couldn’t get into it. I may try another later. I also tried Mortal Love by Elizabeth Hand; a friend raved about it. I just could not get into it at all. Ah well. You win some, you lose some. That same friend recommended Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This is an EXCELLENT book.
Maybe it is the timing. Eat, Pray, Love is about a woman who goes through a lot of difficult things and does something drastic to recover. She wants to find out who she really is and what she really wants. (Perhaps that is why I’ve fallen in love with this book). She gets goes to Italy, India, and Indonesia to study the arts of pleasure, devotion, and balance respectively. The descriptions of the people and locations are fantastic. I checked this out of my library, but I expect I’ll buy it and re-read it. Apparently I’m not alone; I had to wait on a list of 23 people to get the book from my library!
This just goes to show that it is a good idea, from time to time, to ask others for recommendations or to find another source of suggestions and to explore realms beyond your usual boundaries. If I had not asked, I would have missed this lovely book.
Other books/authors I’m going to try:
- Christopher Hibbert
- Ian McEwan, Atonement
- Lawrence Block – mysteries
- Andre Norton