Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What was Jodi Picoult reading last spring?

Back in March, Jodi Picoult talked to the Christian Science Monitor about what she was listening to and watching on screens, large and small. And what she was reading:
I'm reading a book called Maybe a Miracle by Brian Strause. It's narrated by an 18-year-old-boy who saves his sister after she's found floating face down in a pool. After she recovers she begins performing miracles and healing people who come into contact with her. Whenever I see a first-person narrator done extremely well - and by that I mean a narrator who never really breaks out of character no matter what goes on in the plot of the book - I'm always driven to want to go to my computer and do something just as good as that. I really hope we hear from this writer again in the future. I read an advance copy of a book by Jo-Ann Mapson called The Owl and Moon Cafe.... It's a multigenerational story about a family of women and the trials and tribulations that have got them to the point where they are running a small cafe in Southern California. Nobody does funny female characters as well as Jo-Ann Mapson. It's a departure from her ... "Bad Girl Creek" series. Here's a book I recently read that I really liked. It's called The Distance Between Us and it's by a woman named Maggie O'Farrell that I don't think anyone knows about. It is almost a two-pronged book about a very shiftless woman, who can't seem to find the ground beneath her feet, and a man who has had a complete change of life in the wake of a trauma. Most of the book goes back and forth between these two characters and you're waiting to see how they're going to pull it all together. It was such an interesting book because of how it was executed - to have two completely different lives, completely different characters, in completely different places... you feel them move closer to each other throughout the book. I think readers are going to fall just as hard for these characters as they did for her previous ones. Another book I read, that should be out quite soon, is Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard. She's the author of "The Deep End of the Ocean." (I believe that was the first Oprah Book Club pick.) It's the story of a young Mormon girl whose family and security falls apart after her sisters are murdered. It's ultimately a story about how revenge can be weighed against faith. Like most of Mitchard's books, it's an unbelievable character exploration with a very honest first-person narrative.
Click here to read about Picoult's interests in television, movies, and music.

At this site:
If she could invite anyone, living or dead, to a dinner party, Picoult's guest list would include Ernest Hemingway, Alice Hoffman, William Shakespeare, Mel Gibson, and Emeril Lagasse.
Picoult's most recent book is The Tenth Circle. Click here to read Elizabeth Hand's review of it in the Washington Post. An article about the novel in USA Today opens:
In Jodi Picoult's new novel, The Tenth Circle, ninth-grade girls are doing a lot more than playing spin the bottle. In fact, the book's unchaperoned party has the kind of sexual servicing that sounds more suited to the Rat Pack at its most debauched in Vegas than a high school gathering in Maine.
Picoult's official website is chock full of information, including book tour details, a Q & A, interviews, and an excerpt of her coming novel.

--Marshal Zeringue