Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Random reading program

Occasionally I come across a blog where the owner has embarked on methodically reading their way through the alphabet. I found that idea intriguing, and decided to start my own reading program. I'm going to be reading fiction from A to Z, by author's last name, with the books chosen at random from my public library's shelves. By random, I mean standing in the section that applies, closing my eyes, and picking a book totally at random!
Why random? I want to force myself to read books that are totally different than what I would normally choose to read. Plus, I love surprises! Each new letter will bring a new surprise.
I've already read the letter "A" book, which is The River Wife, by Jonis Agee.

This book, set in southeastern Missouri on the Mississippi River, began in 1811 during the New Madrid earthquake. The story, spanning generations, followed a family from the early 1800's to the 1930's. I would classify this as historical fiction. It was clear that the author did some research on the area and the different time periods.
This book was well written and held my interest. Every time I sat down to read, I was quickly drawn into the story. The characters were well developed and believable.
If you're prone to melancholy, however, this is not the book for you. The plot seemed to focus on the dark side of life, with an abundance of human tragedy, sadness and violence.
I identified with the book because of the setting, and because I love history. My own family settled in Missouri around 1850, a few hundred miles from where this book is set. My family, however, didn't experience even a fraction of the drama and passion of the family in the book!
I enjoyed this book, and would like to read more from this same author.
I'm looking forward to my random "B" pick!


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