Sunday, June 3, 2007

Loved 'Water for Elephants'...

If you want a good book to read, try Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, the story of Jacob Jankowski's life with the circus, a meticulously researched and beautifully written novel that's been cropping up on bestseller
lists everywhere.

I've had it on my TBR pile for months (along with dozens of others) and finally finished it last week. It is the sort of book a writer reads thinking, Why do I bother? Honestly, this is one of the best books I've had the pleasure of reading all year.

15 comments:

Melissa Marsh said...

She is going to be at a conference near me this year - if only I had the money to go!

I think this is out in paperback already - I need to pick it up and read it.

kyla-dale said...

I read this one months ago so I'm one up on yah!!! It is a great book, and yes, very very nicely written. It's her 3rd novel and if you ever read the first 2 you'll be stunned at the growth in her writing. Not that there was a thing wrong with the first two books but I couldn't help but notice this fact when I read Water for Elephants.

Travis Erwin said...

Speaking of good books ... I read The Tin Box over the weekend.and I am certainly glad that you "bother to write".

Excellent. I enjoyed it throughout and the way you left the ending was perfect. I hate when a true to life story wraps up with a nice neat happily ever after ending when we all know that life never fits in such nice and tidy packages.

And the characters now feel like good friends. Would love to read a continuation about he new baby and Connor's path into adulthood. or maybe a bit more of Lexi and Bella.

Anyway I'll certainly recomend The Tin Box to anyone who will listen and I'll be searching for The Penny Tree. I would have already bought it too but my local bookstore did not have a copy.

After reading your novel I am even more honored that you dropped by my blog and left a comment.

wordman17 said...

I agree with the post above.

Why do you bother?!!

Look, I'm sure WFE was written beautifully (haven't read it yet myself) but I completely enjoyed Tin Box AND Penny Tree, so don't be so hard on yourself.

You have an amazing ability to tell compelling stories that are very unique. I WISH I could come up with story lines that were half as good. Maybe if I could, I'd be published right now too *lol*

Larramie said...

Is this a unanimous favorite? Must be for I've heard/read nothing but raves about Sara Gruen.

ORION said...

I agree with the others Holly.
We always are hardest on ourselves.
That sound you hear is me ripping myself away from Norway.

Therese said...

This one's on my TBR pile right now.

I'm in the middle of Lionel Shriver's THE POST-BIRTHDAY WORLD which is surprisingly compelling. Just finished her previous book, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN.

So many books...

Hmm, maybe I'll find time to, you know, write another one in between reads. :)

Alana from New York said...

Great pick!
I couldn't agree more.
And when I bought this book I wasn't sure what to expect, but it really is such a compelling story.

Anonymous in Indiana said...

Okay, what's with all the short 'n lazy posts, Ms. H?

I keep checking in daily (as I always do) and it seems like you're cutting corners and giving us less and less! :(

Holly Kennedy said...

Melissa -- Yes, it is out in paperback. You'll love it, I've no doubt.

Kyla-dale -- Interesting. My TBR pile is 28 books strong, though, so I doubt I'll get to her first two novels for a while.

Travis -- Thank you for the kind comments. I'll take that sort of gush anytime! Hope you enjoy The Penny Tree when you hunt it down as well.

Wordman17 -- I didn't mean "Why do I bother?" in a disparaging "feel sorry for me" way, but as a way of showing great respect/admiration for both this writer and her book. Honest, I'm totally OK with where I'm at and what I'm writing. Sara, though, is clearly one talented writer!

Holly Kennedy said...

Larramie -- I know. I had Pat @ ORION recommend it to me and had already heard about it from at least 3 or 4 others as well. It's a buzz that's hard to ignore!

ORION -- Couldn't agree more!
I'd rather be humble and hard on myself than arrogant and unapproachable.

Therese -- I read WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN but haven't made it to her latest novel... which I just noticed ISN'T in my TBR pile. Groan!! Guess I'd better add it to the list.

Alana -- Nice to have you pop by. I didn't know what to expect either, but I was delightfully yanked off my feet and dragged page by page through a great story.

Holly Kennedy said...

Anonymous !!!

Okay, I've been busted. You're right. My posts have been lazy and short and I thought no one out there would even notice.

Here's the thing:
I only have 2 more weeks to finish my manuscript and deliver it to my editor in NY, which makes me a writer-on-the-edge these days. That said, sadly, until I fly to New York later this month and finish meetings with my agent, editor and publisher, my posts won't be fresh and entertaining or deep and thoughtful.

*sigh*

Hang in there, buddy!

John Elder Robison said...

Are you going to New York in 2 weeks when Pat is there? If so, perhaps I can meet both of you.

Holly Kennedy said...

John, I just sent you
an email offline in reply
to your question :)

Anonymous said...

Are you in NY Jun 21st? Would luv to meet for lunch re: potential foreign sales for your novels. Just sent you an email.
Will wait for your reply.