The Booklist blog Bookends recently posed the question, "What's on your shelf of shame?" At first, I thought they were going to confess guilty pleasures, books that aren't critically respected but they love anyway. But the shelf of shame holds the opposite -- classic or highly esteemed books they haven't read yet.
My list of great books I've always meant to read but haven't managed to get to is embarrassingly long. Just last week, I had to sit out a discussion of Willa Cather's My Ántonia at my writing group. I intend to correct that oversight asap.
The Booklist post gives me a perfect excuse to plug a great book by a great friend. Critic Cindy Dobrez confessed that she had to go looking for The Outsiders to review Feels Like Home, which is the second novel from my pal e.E. Charlton-Trujillo. Her first novel, Prizefighter En Mi Casa, won the Delacorte Dell Yearling Award, so you know I'm talking talent here.
If you haven't read them, I very much recommend both books. They have wonderful characters, spot-on dialogue, a undeniable sense of place and -- most important -- heart.