12:44 PM

I've posted before about one of my favorite authors - Maeve Binchy. For years, I read books and would find a common thread among them - on the backs, there would be comparisons to the authors with Maeve clearly this was a woman with some esteem in the genre of books I was reading. Which are difficult to describe...books about real life in foreign countries, perhaps? Sagas of lives? I struggle to categorize them into one-liners, although I'm sure it's not that hard to do.

Maeve is incredibly prolific. Not perhaps, as prolific as say, Carolyn Keene who miraculously continues to produce Nancy Drew novels from beyond the grave! Such talent just can't be stopped! I kid. Not perhaps, as prolific as James Patterson who seems to have a new book out every week. I swear he must have a template where he just inserts new character names and locations. I say that having never read a single book of his and therefore, apologize for the massive generalization. Perhaps slighly less prolific than Danielle Steele whose books are also saga-esque, but oodles more depressing and tawdry. She doesn't do alphabet themes or schmaltzy things, but just writes about life as it really kind of happens, but with an upbeat feel.

I told Kyle yesterday, as I lifted my head from the pages of her newest novel, Heart and Soul, falling into another of her books is like drinking a good cup of hot tea. Soothing, familiar, comforting, home. This may seem strange considering I'm not Irish, and all her books are set in Ireland with Irish characters. That's another thing I like about her books - the characters lace across books. You recognize names, places, people, story lines that pick up years later, perhaps. It's great!

I am happy to say I found Maeve on my own, or rather, with the help of those author blurbs on the backs of existing books. I had no need of Oprah to steer me to her. And in fact, Oprah's plug for Tara Road made me not want to read the book. Although that makes no sense because I read it before Oprah plugged it. Another story...I'm not an Oprah fan.

Anyway, there are times when you want a good nonfiction - to be taught something you would otherwise never learn - whether it's about people or places or things. Or a good spy novel - a John LeCarre or Robert Ludlum. There's romance which makes you turn down the a/c and cuddle under quilts, longing for fire-lit nights. There's humor and mystery...all genres I love to absorb...each with differences that appeal to me in different ways! Much like food!

And then there's the type of book that isn't really a diversion from life, but rather a slice of it from a different perspective. Whether that's life as an Episcopalian pastor (Jan Karon's Mitford series) or life as an Irishperson (Maeve). But something about the style of these authors makes me just plain happy. They're idyllic...and poignant...and somehow real at the same time.

So, I'm back into Maeve. And while the kids are sleeping and I ran out of envelopes to address for Lauren's upcoming shower, I'm going to take advantage of the time I have to dive back in to life in Ireland. See you later!

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