I’m in an overwhelmed-by-books phase. I started The Likeness when Wild came in at the library, and even though Oprah never personally invited me to be in her book club 2.0 and even though her picks tend to be about the same female protagonist who’s suffered hardship but will overcome, I end up enjoying most of the selections. Wild is one of them. It’s possible I took a day off to read it. In many ways, I suspect author Cheryl Strayed will see the fame Elizabeth Gilbert enjoyed after publishing Eat, Pray, Love. While her book lacks the pizza of Italy and the hunky Brazilian lover, Strayed does compel readers with her tale of hiking the grueling Pacific
Coast Crest Trail* with ill-fitting hiking boots and a backpack named Monster.
Now it’s on to The Likeness, which, if you took my advice, you’d be reading too, because it’s by the stellar Tana French. I just saw the Irish actress-turned-writer at the Brookline Booksmith where she did a reading with fellow mystery writer Sophie Hannah, a Brit, who read from The Other Woman’s House. Great, another book to add to the list. The hook for Hannah’s book got me: a woman browsing online videos of homes for sale spots a dead body in the living room of one—but finds the body is gone when she shows her husband.
At the reading, a pug settled in to listen but became more enamored with a woman’s bag and feet that he sniffed, inching closer and closer to both as the woman kept inching them away. It’s a tribute to these two authors and their engaging storytelling that the pug was hardly a distraction. Turns out he was a book lover too. I saw him leave with signed copies tucked under his wrinkled chin.
* I read all 336 pages of Wild believing it was the Pacific Coast Trail and not the Pacific Crest Trail. To be fair, she referred to it mostly as the PCT, but still. At several points I did wonder why we didn’t hear more about the coast . . .