24.3.12

The Readers New Beginning: Heartbreaking Purple Tigers


Upon finishing my post-malazan period of readers mourning I took a moment to reflect on my reading over the past months. I reviewed my readers log (stardate 2178...) and realized that "The Malazan Universe" had entirely occupied the fiction portion of my reading for upwards of 6 months. In itself this was unsurprising; thirteen 1000+ page fiction books should take that long to read given how much time I devote to reading fiction. However, I also realized that I needed to now read something utterly different. Science fiction and Fantasy would have to be laid aside, at least for a time. 

But what else could I read? In the world of non-fiction, I have a seemingly never ending pile of books waiting on my desks, and an even longer list waiting on Amazon. In the world of fiction, not so much. And so I began to look at top lists: Pulitzer prizes, New York Times Best Sellers, etc. It didn't take long for me to come up with half a dozen books to start with and this list happily coincided with my trip to Portland, wherein lies the famed Powell's bookstore. To my delight, Powell's lives up to the hype. 

I am now three books in to my renewed reading list of fiction. 


A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius was witty and humorous and more pretentious than even the title led me to believe. I enjoyed it. 

Purple Hibiscus was moving and deep and peopled with powerfully real characters that drive the story far beyond its technical 'young adult/Teen' classification. More than worth the time; I will be reading more of Adichie. 

The Tiger's Wife was engrossing and a delight to read. It blended lived responses to war with  village mythology and folklore in a way that captivated me from start to finish. I hope that Tea Obreht writes more. 

Having finished these three books I have realized my goal: I am fictionally refreshed. By the time one reaches the end of over 15000 pages in one universe there is not only a sense of loss that the great epic is finished, there is also a sense of worn-ness, as if a specific part of this reader had been greatly depleted. I am grateful that these books are refilling that readers well, and that I am again drinking of fictional well of joy that comes with good art.  

I am looking forward to the rest of my carefully selected and odd (for me) novels.

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