The wind is howling and there's a blizzard on Cape Cod--I kind of wish I was in Provincetown in heavy snow and winds, the wild ocean surrounding that little spit of land, windblown tales of shipwrecks and endurance...
Speaking of endurance, I recently read two powerful works of non-fiction: Wave, by Sonali Deraniyagala, who lost her entire family (husband, children, parents) in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, is harrowing and beautifully written. Unbroken, A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand is also harrowing, suspenseful, and a real page-turner.
When I was sick I mentioned that I was reading the Bruno, Chief of Police detective series. I also read The Martian, by Andy Weir and thoroughly enjoyed it. Simply written, oddly compelling. Some brilliant short stories from Archangel, (natural science and history) by Andrea Barrett and The Things They Carried (Vietnam War) by Tim O'Brien balanced things out a bit.
I've discovered something about short stories--it's good to mix them up. They can be intense, and sometimes stories by one author can have a similarity of tone. Following the voice of one author with a different one keeps it fresh. I know a lot of people don't think they like short stories (we discussed that here) but they can fill a niche of time or mood.
When I felt better I had a craving for a big India book. I have a lot of novels that take place in India and I feel compelled to keep them together. You can see many of them in the picture above (and a glimpse of the foot of my bed--always have book choices handy). I remembered that I'd only read the first book in Paul Scott's Raj Quartet, and had mixed feelings about it, but I read the second book and loved it, so now I'm reading the third.
In the last month my reading has taken me to Sri Lanka, Japan, France, Mars, Vietnam, and India. Is there a book you love that has a strong sense of place?