After listening to Townie, I knew the time had come to read Andre Dubus III’s novels. He’s written two: House of Sand and Fog and The Garden of the Last Days. Although I didn’t do it last year, I have taken the month of November to highlight authors in the past. November became the logical choice for planning those reads. The trouble is that two books is not enough to fill a month, at least not one that I’d be pleased with anyway. I knew I needed something else to flesh it out.
Around the same time, I’d been tweeting about my love of Stewart O’Nan with @mattviews and @lakesidemusing. It’s been ages since I’ve read O’Nan and I started jonesing for a read pretty badly. He has plenty of work I haven’t read yet, so I could easily come up with enough books from his list to complete the month of November. From past experience though, I know that four books from the same author in a month’s time isn’t a good idea for me. Since I was reading two Dubus novels, I decided to read two O’Nan novels in November.
Still, four books does not make a month, though it’s getting close. I can easily read six books in a month, especially if there is a mixture of audiobook and print. So, who else should I select? O’Nan is an existing favorite. Dubus is an author for whom I’ve only just scratched the surface. For a third author, I decided to pick someone I’ve never read before. But who? As I purused my library looking for a previously unread author, I remembered another author sitting on my shelves that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time – Flannery O’Connor. Not only do I have an audiobook copy of Everything that Rises Must Converge, I also have a very nice collection of her body of work.
I’ve mentioned each of the three authors I’ll be reading. Here are the actual selections I made:
House of Sand and Fog ~ Andre Dubus III’s first novel. I have a copy of the audiobook, which was narrated by the author and his wife.
The Garden of Last Days ~ Dubus’ second novel. I picked this up after Stephen King wrote about it in Entertainment Weekly. It’s been sitting on my shelf ever since.
A Prayer for the Dying ~ I’ve requested this title from my local library. It’s O’Nan’s fifth novel about an undertaker forced to choose between his duties to a plague-stricken town and his family.
Wish You Were Here ~ This novel leads up to Emily Alone, which I’ve preordered in paperback. I’ve got a copy of this novel on my Kindle.
Everything That Rises Must Converge ~ I won the audiobook from Karen White during Audiobook month. It’s a collection of short stories, which will set it apart from the rest of my reading.
The Violent Bear It Away ~ This is O’Connor’s second and last novel. It is about a 14 year old boy wanting to escape his destiny to be a prophet.