For example, I've had no holds for quite some time which means I've means I've been too busy (with oh you know, Canada Reads and trying not to muss up this Pop Fiction business) to read anything for pure pleasure. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy reading After the Workshopor Fall on Your Kneesin some respect. No, it's just time for me to dictate my own reading choices, to read a bit more naughtily, so to speak.
I'm in the throes of spring fever right now so I've heaped about a zillion books on thriftyness, DIY and cooking onto the list but I've also made room for some good old fashioned escapist fiction. Here are my four picks:
- Bloodroot(HC, Jan 2010): Myra Lamb is a mysterious young girl born in the remote Bloodroot mountain in the Appalachians. Her fiercely protective grandmother passes down "the touch" to Myra but this doesn't bode well for her. Though she bewitches both people and animals she is destined to leave her children and lover behind. A dark mystery and a remote, enchanted location? Sounds like perfect rainy day reading. *checks sky, definitely ominous* Like today, perhaps.
- The Factory Voice(PB, 2009): The voices of four women and one factory PA system dominate this novel about mysterious events that occur in a Fort William military aircraft factory in 1941. The women are building a craft called The Mosquito but it keeps crashing in flight tests and some believe it's an act of sabotage. Woven into this story are the ordinary lives, loves and friendships of these women that play against a pivotal period of time when women's rights were slowly being asserted. I seem to recall that this was longlisted for the Giller prize last year.
- Fireworks Over Toccoa(HC, March 2010): It's 1945 and Lily is anxious for her husband to return from WWII - they'd only been married for a week before he had to ship out. Lily's hometown of Toccoa, Georgia plans an extravagant fireworks show to welcome the soldiers home and Jack Russo, an Italian immigrant also fresh back from the war, is commissioned to put on the display. A chance encounter in a star-lit field (could there be any other kind) binds the two together and now Lily is faced with a decision - should she choose the man she is passionate about or the husband it is her duty to welcome home? Obviously impoverished but handsome Jack, right?
- The Secret Life Of Emily Dickinson(HC, Feb 2010): Emily Dickinson has a stone cold rep as a reclusive, bloodless, proper Victorian woman who still managed to create beautiful verse. But what if history did her wrong and she was actually more of a wild child? The author speaks in Emily's own voice and fleshes out her little known world - the people that mattered to her and the man who became her lifelong obsession. This book has received mixed reviews but critics seem to agree it does put a fascinating spin on the enigma that's Emily Dickinson.