Make yourself at home. Put your feet up. Grab your favorite beverage and prepare to enjoy the reads.



What's in a good book?

Get a good book in my hands and I don't want to be bothered except to make a cup of tea, and a sandwich. You probably already know how to do that with a book in your hands, your eyes feasting on the page, if you enjoy reading as much as I do.

Reading Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, was an exercise in suspending reality. Not in the sense that it was not factual. Well written fiction can be based on fact, but does not have to be boring. Well written fiction stretches fact into fascination enough to get one's attention and be enchanted.

Bel Canto was enchanting in the same way as the main female character was enchanting. So much so, that every man in the book was in love with her, and there were more than 58 of them from my reckoning. Not counting the terrorists. I was never really sure how many terrorists there were. Though not as many as there were captives. I'm sure. One could say this is a love story of immense proportions, though quite one sided. But, this is not chick lit. There are bad guy revolutionaries with guns in this book too.

You will wonder over and over again, as I did, when the captives will overthrow their captors. But I got to the point where I didn't bother to wonder anymore with the interesting twists and turns this story held. I was captivated myself, and not willing to put the book down and walk away until .

There have been many terrorist plots over the centuries, their stories receded into history. Who doesn't like reading history? Dry history? Dates to memorize? Unpronouncable names of famous dignitaries who changed the course of history? Raise your hand. I didn't think so. Only some guy, with thick glasses, pasty skin and spends all his time in the library? I like history and I don't fit that profile, and I'm sure many others don't, too.
This story plays back in a gentler form, a part of history I've already lived, remembering the early 70's news reports from Central and South America.

Politics and intrigue often go hand in hand with well written history. And history written softly into fiction with Ann Patchett's prose is very easy to swallow, even for those looking for a good story to read who don't care about history.

Do you like Opera? No, not Oprah, the daytime TV show hostess. I mean, Opera, where "it ain't over til the fat lady sings". I don't think in today's culture many people understand Opera, like opera, or even want to hear it. Author, Ann Patchett, didn't know diddly squat about opera. so, why would she plan out a book with a main character who was a world renown opera singer?

Writer's, unless they really know their background information, must do research in order to create a believable story. That is exactly what Ann Patchett did. According to her, she fell in love with opera after her research. You don't have to like opera at all to enjoy this book. It would be the same with any incredible star, whoever that might be. Mick Jagger? Madonna? You name it. The love of the fans is what weaves all the parts of this book together, explaining the characters strengths and weakness for them. It also explains to me, why all the male characters in the book are in love with the opera singer. Did I mention that already?

The one thing I had a problem with in reading Bel Canto was the redundancy. Though she wrote with fresh words, it was still the same old fascination with the opera singer, who isn't, incidentally, the most fascinating character in the book. I found the supporting cast of characters, so to speak, much more interesting. Ann Patchett can write a well rounded character and slip it into the story like a popcycle into a child's mouth, cool, tasty, dripping with sweet and begging for more.

The thread of mystery and suspense is what kept me hooked on Ann Patchett's, Bel Canto. I read this book in a day and a half. It would have been a day, if I hadn't been interrupted. Don't ya hate when that happens?

Reading this book until 2 A.M. was totally enjoyable. I have thanked Bel Canto for the good read. Though she now sits snuggly on my shelf, she wont be there for long. I know soon, I will kiss that book good bye.

It will stay there until it magnetizes itself to someone who simply must read it. The eyes will lightly scan my book shelves. The hand will reach out, being pulled without force. The question will be asked. "What's this one about?" Before I can go into my speil, the book will be clutched and carried out the door.

Will I ever see it again? Probably not. I don't lend books. I give them away. I think we all have to let go sometime. To keep a book on a shelf for 20 years and never having it opened and read but once is my idea of a sin. That's like locking the Vintage Chrysler in the garage and never taking it out into the sunlight so others can feast their eyes. Or keeping the "good" china high up in the cupboard for a "special" occasion that never happens.

Books are published for one purpose only and that is to be read. All the energy and work it takes for an author to produce and give birth to a book, the nicest thing for us to do is to appreciate it. Unlike a movie, we get to imagine the scenes, the tone of voice, the fragrance of the wisteria on the vine, and in this case, the smell and sound of gun casings when they hit the floor.

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