Saturday, July 14, 2007


I need help.

You know what the pile of books on my nightstand are? All brain heavy theological-type books.

Two of them are my favorite professor's. One is Julian of Norwich's Showings, which I can only savor a bit at a time. And anyway, at the moment, we seem to be in the Showings of a very bloody and suffering Christ. Not the best thing right before bed. The other is Constantine's Sword, which we read half of for antisemitism class. I really want to finish it, but have to admit I'm a little afraid; it's already been so disturbing, and we were only up to about the 1800s. It has to get much worse, and I'm not sure I can take it. And again, not good night-time-just-before-sleeping reading.

I need a novel.

The ones on my shelves, all of which I have read, don't call to me right now. Besides, some of them are heavy, too, like this one, and this one, and this one.

So, I'm asking for your help.

In three weeks, I'll be done with summer school AND done (for a few weeks) with HappyChurch. I will have 5 weeks before school starts again -- 10 days of that break will be spent in Guatemala. (Yay, a vacation! I'm considering taking NO BOOKS AT ALL but then what will I do on the plane? Oh, I know -- SLEEP!).

I want some novels. In fact, I want y'all to help me find some novels. I need to visit -- disappear into -- some different worlds and let my imagination play (and my intellect rest).

Here are my parameters.
  • I like well-drawn characters, characters whose humanity is believable even if the story itself is fanciful. Think Barbara Kingsolver, Rita Mae Brown.
  • I like good writing. Bad writing just pisses me off.
  • I appreciate a variety of genres -- mystery, historical fiction, general fiction, even Ursula K. LeGuin- or Madeleine L'Engle-type fantasy.
  • I don't mind "serious" subjects/settings (see those examples of what's on my shelf above) although right now I need something a little lighter. I could use some humor. I could use some (believable) happy endings. I don't need gratuitous violence and death (or at least that being the primary focus of the story), being inside someone's neuroses and never getting out.
  • Good stories, told well.
So, essentially, good stories, good writing, good characters. Preferably some humor. The novel can be recent or old. I don't really care. My brain just needs a rest from reality, if you know what I mean.

So, any suggestions?