I just finished reading the Lace Reader, and I must admit, my experience resembled that of my dear friend, the KittenWhore.
It was an odd book, an interesting book, and now one that I am done with, and am still scratching my head a little bit about.
Would I recommend it, maybe. If you picked it up and were intrigued or just the right mood. I think I agree with KW that in many ways this book overstretched it's bounds and tried to do too much. When you reach the end, and an explanation of sorts, you then start to question the sequence of the whole book. There are parts that are brilliant, and then parts where you scratch your head and furrow your brow. It wasn't what I expected, and I wanted a little more of the lace reading... there were passages that I had to read a few times because the idea was novel - but overall, a strange book.
I did think it was interesting to note the author suggests that in the past there were no witches in Salem, and that now it is overrun with them. Interesting a town known for intolerance has evolved in to tolerance (of sorts). Some interesting ideas in this book, and I did enjoy reading it, but the end, and how the threads intertwined...yeah... One day I wouldn't mind seeing the east coast - Boston, Washington, Philly.. a few places in between.
I have a pile of books right now - some for both my reading selves. Some mysteries and whodunit adventures for the escapist side, and then some more literary books to satisfy my other, more "intellectual" side (laugh at self inserted here). After the Lace Reader I wasn't up for an escapist read, so I have started reading Where the Heart is by Billie Letts... which I think is going to be a surprising read