September 17th – The Fall, A Mango Shaped Space

When you write books for a living, people tend to ask you for reading recommendations. This is one occupational hazard I enjoy because I read a lot of books and when I love one, I want everyone to read it and love it, too.

As a bonus, when people pose the “What are you reading?” question I, in turn, get to ask them what they’re reading and this awesome circle of good books is created…

I’ve let this blog space sit idle for a long time because I don’t like talking about myself (seriously – I spend most days in front of my laptop alone – it’s just not that interesting) but I do like talking books so that’s what I want to do here. Nothing complicated. This is not the New York Review of Books. It’s just us making recommendations to each other so we don’t have to spend so much time on Amazon answering the dreaded question of “What should I read?” Because that’s a scary question. Really.

(and I’m not averse to throwing in some movie or TV recommendations because let’s face it, with so many options out there, the task of choosing what to watch is equally daunting.)

So anyway…

I finished two novels this week. John Lescroart’s The Fall  and A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass.

These books have nothing in common and I really enjoyed them both! I’m lucky enough to know John (we live in the same town) and he’s a wonderfully generous person and writer and spending time with his beloved characters is a joy. The whole gang is here: Dismas, Abe, Wyatt and newcomer Rebecca, Dismas’s sassy newly minted lawyer daughter. There’s a murder of course and lots of intrigue and legal wrangling but the true pleasure here comes from hanging out with characters who feel like old friends. I felt this way about Robert B. Parker’s Spenser books when I was in college. If you’re new to John’s work, maybe pick up an earlier one first.

Mango is middle grade fiction and is the selection for our elementary school’s book club (a parent and child read the book and both attend the book club meeting – it’s pretty awesome). It made me weep but I can’t tell you why because that gives too much away. Inside, you’ll find pets and extra sensory abilities and teenaged crushes and sibling rivalries and BFF’s who are suddenly not BFF’s and so on. It’s a quick read but very rich. If you like it, I’d also recommend A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban, which is similar in tone and style and also great read.

Got recommendations? Let me know. Email me at Elizabeth@elizabethmaxwellauthor.com. Or if you’d like to receive the newsletter version of this blog directly to your email, sign up for the Wit’s End Newsletter using the link to the right of this text.

And remember when you’re at your wit’s end, just stop and read for a while….

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