Throwback Thursday Reviews 3.8.18
Back again with another Throwback Thursday post. As time goes on and I’m reading more books (a lot of Penny Reid this year), I find it’s been harder for me to recall books I read before I started the blog last year. But these three stand out in my mind.
This Is the Start of a Happy Marriage is an essay collection by Ann Patchett. Prior to reading this book, I had only read one other Ann Patchett book, Commonwealth, which I loved. But reading this essay collection was a great introduction to Patchett's work. Most of these essays had been published in The Atlantic or other periodicals where she freelanced throughout her career. Everyone who has any writerly aspirations has raved about "The Getaway Car", but one of my favorite essays was about her dog Rose. As a fellow dog person, this essay perfectly captured how a dog can wiggle your way into your heart. There were so many other great essays in this collection, like the one where Patchett trained for the LAPD Police Academy. Patchett has always been best known for her fiction, but This Is the Start of a Happy Marriage made me fall in love with Ann Patchett, both as a person and a non-fiction writer. I now have several of her fiction books on my shelf that I need to read. And the next time I’m in Nashville, I am definitely stopping by her bookstore, Parnassus.
The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak was one of my BOTM picks last year, after I heard Chris on The Bookshelf’s From the Front Porch podcast mention it. It is a young adult novel set in the 1980s and is told from the perspective of the boy. It’s about computer programming, first love, and Vanna White’s spread in Playboy. I read my fair share of YA literature, so I am no stranger to teenage boys. However, I think this was the first one I read that was told from the boy’s point of view. Billy is a good kid, but when his teenage hormones get the best of him and his friends want to get a copy of Playboy magazine, his friends force him to befriend Mary, the daughter of the store owner. However, Billy and Mary have a lot in common; they both love computer games and want to program their own game together. But when Billy’s friends force him to break into the Zelinsky store, will he be able to save his friendship with Mary? I really enjoyed this book. I remember thinking after I finished it that it was a refreshing take on YA literature. I believe this was Rekulak’s debut novel, and I will definitely read more of his work. Also, how great is the cover?
Can you believe last year was the first time I read A Wrinkle in Time? It is hard to believe that I had never read this classic. But since I knew the movie was coming out (tomorrow actually!), I wanted to read the book beforehand. I’m a big believer in reading the book first. Meg Murry and her brother Charles Wallace are determined to find their dad who has been missing for weeks. When Meg, Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin stumble upon Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit. These three incredibly quirky ladies take Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin on a journey to find Dr. Murry through time and space. I loved this story; it still holds up 50 years later. I am definitely excited to see the movie version. Hello Oprah, Reese, and Mindy!
I am excited to read more Ann Patchett and Madeleine L’Engle. I already have Bel Canto, State of Wonder, and Run by Patchett, and then I snagged a copy of L’Engle’s Walking on Water, her memoir on writing and faith. What other L’Engle books should I try?
Let me know your thoughts on these books and if you plan to see A Wrinkle in Time.