There is a stack of books on my nightstand, okay actually there are a few stacks, but the one I'm talking about is the stack of 6 books I've started, some as long ago as the beginning of 2010. Everything just seems 'blah' to me right now. No book is clever enough, engaging enough, well written enough to suit me it seems. Dare I say it? I'm bored by many of them. Every few days I get so annoyed that I start another book which is how I came to have so many in the stack. Another thing I keep doing is picking up something I know will be quick and pleasing, read it quickly in about the span of a day and then I'm back to where I started. I think I am going to finish 3 of the books in the stack for sure. Not sure when. The other three I could walk away from and never look back. Isn't that sad? I'm not sure what I need. In any case here are a couple of books that have worked for me lately.
I read the sixth installment of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series, Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs Novels), a couple weeks ago. It was such a divine feeling to read the first page and sigh with relief knowing where I was headed. I think I said it with the fifth book but I am going to say it again; Winspear gets better and better and these last two installments are my favorites next to the first book in the series. The main storyline in this outing deals with the sufferings of those who served in WW1 and Maisie works closely with Scotland Yard to solve the case. The other main storyline deals with Billy's wife and her depression **spoiler!** over the death of her child in the last book **end spoiler**. The entire book is really a fascinating look at mental illness and how it was dealt with in the past. I look forward to the next book!
Harry Bernstein's memoirs are remarkable not just for their remembrances of a Jewish English boy, who grew up in poverty with an alcoholic father, then immigrated to the US. What is most remarkable about Mr. Bernstein is that he became a published author in his 90s and went on to write two more books. Having enjoyed both of Mr Bernstein's previous books, The Dream and THE INVISIBLE WALL, I knew I wanted to read his third book which chronicled the story of his marriage. The Golden Willow: The Story of a Lifetime of Loveis the story of Harry and his true love and wife Rose. They had the sort of marriage most people only dream of. The Golden Willow goes back and forth between Rose and Harry's early days together, and their last days together as Rose died from cancer. It is a touching book and it's most poignant moments came when the author wrote about the grieving process, and how old age has affected his body and mind. The Golden Willow doesn't have the same narrative power as Mr Bernstein's previous books. There are times when it is repetitive and one wonders if life was truly always so cheerful. I think if you are a fan of the author's work already, you won't care about this, and instead will enjoy this book for what it is - a love letter to Rose.