I have not had much time over the last few years to read for fun. Lately, I have made a point of reading more at bed time and on planes and on the weekends. It has made me happy. The most recent book I gobbled up was The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. I did not read his Pulitzer Prize winning Middlesex. But I may have to go back and read that one, too. The characters in this book drove the plot. And I liked them from the very beginning. Smart and funny college students. The locations were also stars, though to a slightly lesser degree. Brown University, a research lab on Cape Cod, a family home in NJ and a few bits in foreign cities. It is written from the points of view of the three main characters and I found characteristics about each of them that fascinated me. From the somewhat lost Mitchell with his travels and fascination with religion, to Madeline's struggling to find herself and pursue her dreams, to Leonard's quick wit, science smarts and struggles with bipolar disorder. It is all written brilliantly. I would give it 5 out of 5 stars if I rated it.
Another book that I read recently and greatly enjoyed was Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. Again, I didn't read her earlier novel that you might have read: Girl With A Pearl Earring. A little slow paced for me at the beginning, it took me some pages to start breezing my way through. Again, there is a tie to science as the book is about early fossil hunters in England. (By early, I mean before scientists and the general public understood dinosaur fossils, before some creatures were known to be extinct.) This novel again focused on the characters. And interestingly, many of the characters were based on real people. I enjoyed the time period setting and the descriptions of the English coast line where the fossils were found. I would give this one 4 out of 5 stars - mainly because it started a bit too slowly for my tastes.