One of my favorite things about book club - aside from sitting around Lyn's adorable shop with the sweetest group of people and discussing literary fiction novels classic and contemporary - is getting great new book recommendations. When you become not just friends, but book friends, you get a feel for what the others in your group gravitate toward, and you receive the most pointed, taste-specific book recs. One of my book club friends suggested Rosamunde Pilcher to me. "Read The Shell Seekers," she said, with a knowing smile. "It's wonderful."
Wonderful was right. I started it about a week ago and it's been one of those books I struggle to set aside every night. I'm 80% finished, completely enchanted and heartbroken by it, and almost jumped out of my computer chair earlier today when I realized there was a sequel, September.
When I'm writing, no matter how busy I am, I just HAVE to carve out a little time to read on the side. It helps me stay in writing mode. And I love to read the sorts of books that make me feel stupid and inadequate as an author, the kind that make me want to be better, more clever, and more focused than ever before.
The Shell Seekers is one of those special books that brings you in slowly, seductively, with plenty of ordinary people dashed with wonderfully rich prose. An enthralling, whale-of-a-tale kind of book that spans decades and jumps backward and forward in time without any regard for linear plot. My favorite kind! I love for a book to be bold in establishing a world and a pace for itself. For the author to say, "Come sit down, have a drink, really get comfy, and let me tell you this story." No formula, no regard for an agenda of any kind, just a complete devotion to tale-telling and word-crafting. I'm in book love.
I hope to finish this weekend, and then have September ready to go on my Kindle the moment I'm finished. In between long bouts of writing about my favorite bikers, I'm going to be sneaking chapters of Pilcher's unforgettable characters.