Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wendy Werris

Wendy Werris is the author of An Alphabetical Life: Living It Up in the World of Books.

Last week I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
Even for someone as eclectic as me, the books I'm reading right now are a very strange mix of genres and sensibilities.

There's the new Laura Lippman novel, What the Dead Know, and as one who's new to her work I'm pleasantly surprised by Lippman's almost poetic style of characterization. It's branded a mystery, but the narrative and characters are so boldly drawn that it rises well above the genre. I'm enthralled.

Next up is Mario Batali's cookbook, Molto Italiano, which has sensational photos throughout of the chef's favorite regional dishes. I'm one of those folks that loves reading cookbooks and recipes, and Batali's offerings are geared toward the peasant in all of us! Try his take on pasta Bolognese (which I made with pork instead of veal), pour yourself a glass of wine and put a book in front of you for good company.

In my case it was Ken Gire's The North Face of God. A writer friend gave it to me when I was going through a rough patch, and it's turned out be the perfect antidote to my skepticism about "Christian" books. Gire draws liberally on C.S. Lewis, Wendell Berry and various poems published in the Atlantic Monthly to explain his theology, and I'm finding it most amenable.

Finally, I'm eyeing my copy of Jeanette Walls' The Glass Castle near the top of the stack on my nightstand. It's my next priority, and I'm looking forward to it.
Michael Connelly on Werris's book: "The best memoirs are those in which you connect with the world by connecting with one life. An Alphabetical Life is one of those. It is a powerful and poignant book."

Visit Werris's online journal and official website, and check out the Page 69 Test results for An Alphabetical Life.

--Marshal Zeringue