Welcome to the September edition of the Online Reading Challenge! This month our spotlight author is: Ann Patchett!
Ann Patchett is one of my favorite authors. I love her smooth, unfussy writing style and the depth and complexity of her characters. The story lines and locations of her books are wide ranging, from the Amazonian rain forest to an unnamed South American capital to a family home in the suburbs, but while the locations are fascinating and integral to the plot, it’s the characters that really draw you in.
Because Patchett’s books are so varied in setting and subject, it’s hard to pin down authors that are exactly like her. Look for books centered on ordinary people facing difficult moral issues that examine how different people respond to significant events.
Plus, if you haven’t yet read any of Patchett’s books, I highly recommend that you choose of of hers! Bel Canto may be her most well-known book about a lavish party at an unnamed South American capital that is interrupted and held hostage by terrorists, or State of Wonder about a woman going to the Amazonian rainforest to search for her missing colleague and a controversial scientist. Her most recent book is The Dutch House, an intriguing look at a complex family dynamic and the grand house at the center of their dramas.
Patchett also wrote Truth and Beauty, a non-fiction account of her friendship with poet Lucy Grealy who suffered from a disfiguring disease and struggled with addiction and depression. A portion of the book takes place in Iowa City where they were both enrolled in the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.
If you’ve already read all of Ann Patchett’s books, or would like to try someone else, here are a few suggestions.
In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende
The Immortalists by Chole Benjamin
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
Don’t forget, we’ll have displays of Ann Patchett books and read alikes at all three Davenport library buildings.
I am planning on reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles about a Russian aristocrat who is sent to live in a hotel room for life. It has been highly recommended to me by more than one person, so I’m hoping for a great reading experience!
What about you, what will you be reading this month?