Currently reading…

In addition to The Space Between Trees, I’m also reading James Dickey’s Deliverance, a book I’ve wanted to read for years. I love survival stories, and this may be the best one out there. It’s a harrowing tale about a Georgia canoe trip gone wrong, and is a thrill to read. Dickey was an established poet long before he wrote this book (he was elected Poet Laureate of the U.S. in 1966), and you can tell–the prose is taut, lyrical and engaging.


The most underrated writers

Anis Shivani’s 15 Most Overrated American Writers list on The Huffington Post has generated a lot of debate online. I, for one, want to generate a positive list. If you’re looking for a new book, check out the underrated work ofΒ Benjamin Percy. A native of Tumalo, a rural town in central Oregon, Percy packs his stories with fierce, lyrical language, angry yet empathetic characters and a stunning setting: the harshness and raw beauty of the Oregon landscape. His short story collection Refresh, Refresh is brave, unrestrained and exuberantly terrifying. An Oregon native myself, I appreciate his homage to an underrated state.

Percy’s first novel, The Wilding, is due out this fall from Graywolf Press, and it’s being heralded as a modern-day Deliverance. I can’t wait to read it.

Currently reading…

I love, love, love paper books, but have to confess that I’m reading more on my Kindle these days. Living abroad in Italy, it’s tougher to find books in English. Plus, I’m not in a big city like Rome or Milan, so locating English-language material is difficult. When I return to the U.S. later this year, it’ll be back to the bookstore and library!

Anyway, I’m currently reading Katie Williams’ new book, The Space Between Trees, and am really enjoying it so far. 16-year-old Evie is a typical teen outsider growing up in a Midwestern town, but when a childhood friend named Zabet McCabe is murdered, Evie is drawn into an eerie and complicated friendship with Zabet’s best friend, Hadley, who is conducting her own investigation to find the killer. So far, the language is engaging and lyrical and while it’s categorized as teen lit, I think it has a strong appeal for adults, too. I’ll write an updated post after I finish the book. Your thoughts? Have you read this book, and if so, do you recommend it?