*** What are you reading now? - Part 5
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It is the middle of summer in the Northern hemisphere and in the Valley of the Sun, that means staying inside and not venturing too much out. Which gives a lot of time to read. :)
So what had everyone been reading?
after quitting The Babylonian Exodus, I moved on a to book of four plays by Euripides - Ion, The Trojan Women, Helen and The Bacchae.
I've recently finished to new-ish books, Ruby by Cynthia Bond and The Dinner by Hermann Koch. Both were really good, but both extremely disturbing in different ways.
I felt like it was time for a classic, so I'm reading The Ambassadors by Henry James. Just as wordy and with odd syntax as I remember from his other books, but I'm interested in the premise. I'm also reading a biography of Christina, Queen of Sweden who ruled in the 1600s.
Still reading Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell, which started out a bit slow but has picked up in the second half.
Had a fifties weekend with the banned-gay-classic Les mauvais anges and (making a rather bizarre contrast) Elizabeth Taylor's The sleeping beauty. The angels were interesting, but failed to live up to their reputations; Taylor has never disappointed me yet.
Next up is this week's bit of Victorian frivolity, Rambles Round Reformed Lands, an 1889 travel book by the Reverend Doctor James I. Good, of Philadelphia, which I picked up for no reason at the book market yesterday. I'm intrigued to see how he deals with resolving the correct Anglo-Saxon attitude to foreigners (that they are incompetent, picturesque and slightly absurd) with his respect for the cultures that produced Luther, Zwingli and Calvin. And I'm looking forward to some good old-fashioned anti-popish bigotry, of course. I've already seen him taking the monks of Einsiedeln to task for the blackness of their Madonna...
One reason the book attracted my attention is that the printer had clumsily laid out the title page like this:
ROUND REFORMED LANDS
leading me to wonder whether there are any square ones...
I'm continuing my partial re-read of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels with Thief of Time. This is the last of the Death sub-series, and I am going to seriously miss that silly ol' skeleton when I'm done. (Fortunately, he does show up for at least a cameo in pretty much all the other books, too.)
Next up, I believe, is going to be The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz, mostly because buzz about the the new season of Sherlock coming next year has me in a little bit of a Holmesian mood.
I am in a reading funky mood so staying with old books - Perry Mason at the moment (I feel like detective stories but really cannot be bothered with the modern way of making the detective the story...). That shall pass soon I suspect but for the time being, I am stuck on old mysteries (and my Cherryh read-through).
I am plugging away, enjoyably, at The Last Chronicle of Barset and reading mysteries along with that.
In the middles of Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee and A Thousand Miles to Freedom: My Escape from North Korea by Eunsun Kim.
Just started an ER book Needless Suffering: How Society Fails Those With Chronic Pain and I'm really impressed so far (I've been dealing with chronic pain for over ten years).
I am beginning LaRose soon. It was recommended by a friend but I probably wouldn't have chosen to read it otherwise. Hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
I'm in the midst of several non-fiction books, the most interesting being So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson.
Finished Elektra by Sophocles. The 50 pages of intro took a longer and a lot more work than the actual play.
Next is The Big Short. I listen to almost all of it on audio, but got sick of waiting for it to come free again from the library. So, I'll finish in hardback. First I need to figure out where I was...
I started listening to Lab Girl this morning. I'm like 25 minutes in, but it's really nice so far.
I'm reading City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett now, and really enjoying it.
I've finished the nonfiction I was reading, Christina, Queen of Sweden. Now I'm focusing on a pair of books, The Ambassadors by Henry James and The Master by Colm Toiban which is biographical fiction about Henry James.
Next up will be My Name is Lucy Barton which I'm picking up from the library today.
Moving from one depressing memoir to another and another I'm halfway through Guantanamo Diary. I'm trying to balance with a nice fantasy re-read, Angel-Seeker by Sharon Shinn.
Was going to start a realistic YA book, but decided I just didn't want to be in close proximity of teenagers, even of the fictional print variety.
I am reading Work like any other from the Booker Longlist and enjoying it very much. Next will be a 1001 read again, but I am not sure which one, because I would really like to read another Booker. But I have this TBR system.... not that flexible...!
I am reading As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes and Disappointment With God by Philip Yancey. I am not disappointed with either book so far.
>30 Oandthegang: You're reminding me that I should get back to Barsetshire. As soon as my attention span increases or the boxes are all unpacked, I'll have to pick up Doctor Thorne.
I'm reading Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler, which is one of the Hogarth Shakespeare retellings, this one is based on The Taming of the Shrew. I'm enjoying it so far.
I'm also reading You Will Know Me, Megan Abbott's newest noir-tinged novel about championship gymnastics and murder.
I have a pile of non-fiction on the go, and my novel is In the Woods, Tana French's 1st Dublin murder squad book.
Recently finished Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot on and Never Will, which I loved. Review to follow on my thread sometime over the weekend.
After six weeks of enjoyable reading, I have finished Trollope's The Last Chronicle of Barset, and reviewed it. How will I get my Trollope fix now?
>35 RidgewayGirl: I roared through Dr Thorne. Quite different from The Warden and Barchester Towers, which I also enjoyed. Have now decided that the Antonia Fraser stack needs to be tackled as I'm in culling mode again, so am just starting her version of The Six Wives Of Henry VIII. If I think of it as six short books joined together it seems less daunting.
>39 rebeccanyc: Always sad to get to the end of a run.
Finished Nothing to Envy - I think I was about the last club reader to get to it. Recommended.
Next I'm looking at more from Euripides - I have an old Penguin Classics with Vellacott's translations of Medea, Hecabe, Electra and Herakles. Medea is a re-read, but this translation is new to me. The others are all new.
I also got to the end of a run last night, finishing Temps glaciaires - but in this case it's not ruled out that there will be some more Adamsberg stories in due course.
I really need to have a go at the physical TBR, which is going into overspill mode, but first I want to read another Elizabeth Taylor novel...
(...and Dan's comments are almost tempting me to have another go at the Greeks, as well!)
Mark - I could use another reader to talk to, if those Greek tragedies are really calling you.
Betty - I'm oddly casual about reading books I own, and yet library books, with their return dates, come with some urgency. But, once I finally got Nothing to Envy into the house from the library, I was surprised how drawn I was to that one book.
I am reading World Light, Halldor Laxness. Its a book club choice. I am enjoying it so far.
I am reading American Gods, Harvest of Empire and several manga (but focusing on xxxHolic.)
I am really enjoying American Gods, but Gaiman can sometimes come off more like a Penthouse Letters author. I find it off putting, but I try to remind myself that it's primitive gods so maybe that's why it's so *ahem* earthy. Or maybe I'm just a cranky prude. Otherwise I just love the surreal feeling of it.
>49 kidzdoc: Those both sound really good! I've added them to my ever growing wishlist.
I finished several enjoyable books while on vacation. I apologize for the skimpy comments in my posts. Catching up is hard to do. :)
I'm currently reading Trollope's Phineas Finn on Kindle, and Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron in print. The latter was a recommendation by Linda (laytonwoman).
My audiobook is the most current in the Bryant and May series by Christopher Fowler. Strange Tide.
I'm looking for some recommendations for Irish books or books set in Ireland. My daughter is going to Ireland with her school next March. She'll be 17 at the time of the trip. She asked me for some Irish fiction, but everything I can think of is pretty grim or overly-literary (she's not going to read James Joyce). She's a fairly enthusiastic reader, but mostly reads YA, and a lot of dystopia. Not so much realistic fiction (which I think covers a lot of Irish fiction).
I suggested Angela's Ashes, but she was dubious when I described it. I read it about 20 years ago, so I likely misremembered.
Any ideas are appreciated.
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Colm Tóibín yet! I loved Brooklyn, and I hope to get to Nora Webster soon.
Here's a recent article from The Guardian:
A new Irish literary boom: the post-crash stars of fiction
I'll read The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney, the winner of this year's Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction, early next month, for a book club meet up in Cambridge. Lori Thornton from 75 Books told me about Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume, and I'll probably buy and read it next month. I own A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride and Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, but I haven't read them yet, although both are high on my TBR list.
>62 kidzdoc: You're right -- I could just pull out The Glorious Heresies and Colm Toibin from my TBR pile, along with all the other Irish fiction I own, and see if any of it takes with her. Who knows?
I read her the list, above, and we own How the Irish Saved Civilization, and she's interested in the Emma Donoghue and Marian Keyes, and the Commitments is on our to-watch list.
Lots of good ideas. Who knows what will click?
>65 avidmom: I liked it too but I don't think my teenage daughter would.
>66 dchaikin: Lysistrata is fun! Usually a hit with the teenage crowd (It's about sex :O sort of....)
>66 dchaikin: In college, I minored in art history with a focus on ancient arts & architecture. For extra credit, a bunch of us performed Lysistrata as well as Electra by Sophocles. Fun times!
>63 Nickelini: just thought: she'd probably love Roddy Doyle. He manages to do Irish angst with black humour. Used to read a lot by him when I was younger.
>72 AlisonY: Parking Anita Brookner for a moment, as I just picked up a library book I've wanted to read for a while - Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull.
It's hailed as a great business book for creative companies, and enjoying the insights so far.
>74 AlisonY: Alison, I really loved that book, far more than I was expecting to. It was a great read in general.
>44 dchaikin: Actually, I realized I was mistaken. It's Without You There Is No Us I picked up recently, but that made me decide I really should read Nothing to Envy, which had been languishing on my TBR pile for quite a while, first. And your mention of it spurred me to finally do so. So far I'm finding it fascinating.
>55 Nickelini:, >62 kidzdoc: I was going to suggest Skippy Dies, myself. It's terrific, and while it is fairly "literary," it might be entertaining enough to hold her attention, anyway. Plus, hey, boarding schools are pretty dystopian. :)
>76 bragan: I'm excited your reading Nothing to Envy. That sounds silly...well, it's still true.
>79 RidgewayGirl: I was wondering about The Underground Railroad. Noting.
>79 RidgewayGirl: The Underground Railroad is firmly in my sights. I'll definitely buy and read it later this year.
I'm reading The Childhood of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee, so that I can read the sequel The Schooldays of Jesus, which was longlisted for this year's Booker Prize. I'm a quarter of the way in, and it's surprisingly good so far.
I am finally getting around to reading The Birth House. I truly don't recall how many years ago I bought it or why.
>79 RidgewayGirl: >80 dchaikin: I have been wondering about The Underground Railroad as well. It certainly has a long waitlist at the library; maybe partially due to The Oprah Effect ....
I'm planning to read The Underground Railroad as well, unless I see lots of negative reviews around here.
For now, I'm reading two other new books, The Glorious Heresies which won the Baileys Prize this year and Homegoing. So far I like them both but prefer Homegoing.
For nonfiction, I'm reading Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present which is a beautifully illustrated book that I'm sure someone here recommended.
>75 mabith: I'm loving it so far. So apt for the start up I'm in - I'm learning a lot of lessons.
About halfway through The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Still working on an ER book, Needless Suffering: How Society Fails Those with Chronic Pain, ironically I'm not able to read much in print right now because my own chronic pain has spiked.
Well, I quickly finished Nothing to Envy, which was compelling and disturbing and eye-opening and definitely deserves the good things people say about it.
I've now just started Kafka on the Shore, which will be my first exposure to Haruki Murakami, about whom I have also heard many good (or at least very interesting) things.
Aristophanes was good fun, and I have another collection of his waiting. But I've started a collection of four plays by Sophocles - the non-Thebes ones.
I am reading The Invention of Nature which was a gift and was enthusiastically reviewed by several CR readers. I'm also reading mysteries at the same time.
I am reading The Music of Chance by Paul Auster. He is always good, I think (and Siri Hustvedt's husband!)
I also have a question. In October I will be in NYC for a week - holidays. Any suggestions for a book I should absolutely read while being there or while preparing my trip?
>91 Simone2: NYC! It would be impossible to recommend only one or two books -- so many are set here over so many decades and within such different ethnic groups. I guess maybe New York Stories edited by Diana Secker Tesdell might give you a brief overview? If you're allowed to do some book tourism, I recommend my favorite two book stores, within walking distance of each other.
Strand Bookstore (right) and Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (left):
I started reading The Last Wish today, got to page 127 and really can't be bothered to read anymore. It is a book club choice.
>92 ELiz_M: You don't know how happy you make me with these addresses. I will certainly go there. The Public Library as well, probably.
I'll also check out the book you mention, thank you. It is an impossible question to ask, I know.
I have read a lot of books set in NYC of course, I was just thinking there might be the ultimate novel maybe, set in current times. I am thinking of Manhattan Transfer perhaps?
>94 Nickelini: Thank you Joyce, I have read both but they are exactly the kind of titles I am looking for, I would have loved to read them there. I'll check out the other Wharton's.
I finished Kafka on the Shore, although I still don't know exactly what I think about it. And then I read Eleven on Top, yet another of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels. I think my brain needed a rest with something completely mindless after the Murakami.
Next up is Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson.
I've started Lingo: Around Europe in Sixty Languages, which seems like it will be a fun, light read. Also working on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on audio, a re-read for a new bookclub I've joined. Enjoying it again, though there are some very minor annoyances I didn't notice the first time around.
Having a bit of a dither as I am in the midst of furniture shuffling due to building work and keep coming across books in unexpected places. I was on the edge of starting Jeremy Poldark, the third volume of the Poldark series, having just finished Demelza to get me in the mood for the arrival of the second series of the BBC dramatization, but three chapters and one tv episode in I realize this is a bad idea, so must park Jeremy until the tv series has finished. I'm also semi reading Framley Parsonage but all the annotations in the OUP edition (which I know many of you love) are getting in my way, so I may need to circle round and start again. Antonia Fraser's The Six Wives of Henry VIII is still hanging in there and I've just discovered a little nest of Margery Allingham's Campion novels.
I am also looking forward to the second season of Poldark being aired soon!! So far I have stayed away from the novels, but I can understand setting the third volume aside for now.
Finished the Sophocles collection, which means I've read all this plays (we only have seven). I also read a collection of Aesop's fables, and, on audio, finished The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee.
I have one more book of Greek plays, by Aristophanes. Not sure what will be next on audio. I was listening to some lectures on the Greek plays and I might continue with that.
>92 ELiz_M: hmm. We are talking over possible December trips and NYC came up. I've yet to make the Strand...
Hoping to finish Memoirs of a Militia Sergeant tonight so that I won't have to take it travelling with me tomorrow. I will pick up enough books as it is
>103 dchaikin: If you do come to NYC, feel free to drop me a line for suggestions (or visit Simone's thread....)!
Reading My Cousin Rachel for one of my (nearly) Autumn mystery/romance/modern gothic type reads.
Starting The Wright Brothers today, although in the past I have already listened to a few chapters on CD.
>109 This-n-That: Lisa, enjoy The Wright Brothers. I listened to it on audio this past December.
I finished Aristophanes collection, which included The Frogs, which was really kind of...well, I was going to say touching, but that's not quite right. Anyway, I enjoyed it. Aeschylus and Euripides go head to head, with Dionysos judging...in Hades, of course.
I'm looking at Vineland by Thomas Pynchon and thinking about starting it next.
>107 thorold: Barely halfway through the Hobsbawm (which is excellent, but quite demanding) and I got side-tracked into reading Red cavalry on Scribd, so now I'm halfway through that as well. Coincidentally, it turns out that the town of Brody (now in Ukraine), where the first part of Aller Tage Abend was set, is also one of the main locations in Red cavalry. I can't quite claim never to have heard of the place before, since Wikipedia tells me it was Joseph Roth's birthplace and comes up in Radetzkymarsch, but it must be forty years since I read that...
>110 dchaikin: But at least you can now say "I know the croaking chorus from the Frogs of Aristophanes..."
>106 This-n-That: What did you think of it? I really liked that one.
I finished my seventh novel from the Booker Longlist, Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, which I didn't really like. Next Tuesday the shorlist will be announced, I don't think I will able to read another one before then.
Now it is time for a 1001 novel again, which will be The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
>110 dchaikin: Now that I have a book version to refer to, I actually feel the audio for The Wright Brothers is more engaging. Maybe especially for the second half of the book, as there are more "factoids" so the writing seems a little dry. I might go back and listen to some of it on cd (that I didn't get to before) as time allows. Well, glad you enjoyed the audio version. :)
>115 bragan: That is a great series, although I have only read four books.
>117 This-n-That: I didn't really like the second half : |. I just kind of lost interest in all the details. Maybe it's the book and not the medium. ??
>120 dchaikin: Thanks for your comment, Daniel. That is quite helpful. At least now I realize it might just be the story itself, so I won't worry about it. Maybe will just continue on with the book then, as I can get through it more quickly. Kinda sad to lose interest midway through but the first half seemed more personal and engaging. Happens sometimes though...
I've recently finished two brand new books, Homegoing (fabulous, highly recommended), and The Glorious Heresies (appreciated though not necessarily for me).
Now I'm reading The Gene: An Intimate History and the first of Dorothy Dunnett's historical fiction series set in 16th century Scotland, Game of Kings.
Finished A Radiografia do Golpe: Entenda como e por que você foi enganado, by Jesse Souza, portuguese edition. An analysis about the last developments in brazilian politics. Review in my thread.
After finishing a couple of books at the weekend, I started Thomas Bernhard's Das Kalkwerk, which rather unexpectedly turns out to be a sort of murder mystery. It's a lot of fun, if fun is the right word to describe Bernhard's own very special brand of Grumpiverse...
>125 RidgewayGirl: I've seen several people talking about that book lately, but didn't twig until I saw your comment that it can't be the Joe Hill Joan Baez dreamed about. A book called The fireman could so easily have been a political manifesto or a socialist-realist novel...
>126 thorold: I struggle with that Joe Hill confusion every time I see author's name. I feel routinely annoyed that the author chose that pen name (would be different if it were his real name).
Recently finished YA time travel book Long Division by Kiese Laymon, poetry collection One Secret Thing by Sharon Olds, and historical novel Night of Many Dreams by Gail Tsukiyama.
Now I'm working on Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly and Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution by Kathleen DuVal.
>129 lesmel: I hadn't seen his full name before, but it will still annoy me. Could have gone with Joseph Hill even and had much less confusion with the activist songwriter. Knowing that he was named for him it's a bit less annoying. I would say it still counts as a pen name as well, since it was chosen to at least temporarily hide his parentage.
Finished Das Kalkwerk and got sidetracked into starting Kropotkin's Memoirs of a revolutionist, which is mentioned frequently as the favourite reading of Bernhard's central character.
>129 lesmel: >130 mabith: As P.G. Wodehouse pointed out, "There's a lot of dirty work done at the font."
Even without the problem of a famous father, I expect it doesn't take long to get fed up with people telling you "You must be Joe King."
I don't post on this thread usually, some sort of superstition in case it deflects me from finishing things, but the way it goes at the moment, things have changed, I've got tons of books on the go, most not finished or really near it nor ever will be no doubt. It was good when I was a one book at a time person, for a while, but maybe mad variation between the two is needed, focus and splurges to find focus. But the real reason i do post here is to say I have restarted Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and plan to read it a chapter a day again as I got so much from it last time that way.
Significant other reads - that I really am aiming to finish - are Wordsworth's The Prelude (1850) and Conversations with Kafka. I'll stop there. Interesting Zen Mind may be about focus, being more present to it all amidst lots of reading. Hadn't thought of that side of it. I'll probably have to search for more focus again, especially towards some of the reading I really want to do.
Finished Kropotkin and have been dipping into Volker Weidermann's bluffers' guide to post-war German literature, Lichtjahre. Not quite as philistine as it pretends to be, but there look to be some splendid one-sentence take-downs of the great and the good...
(He's the man who wrote Ostend, which I've also got on the TBR.)
I'm now reading The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, which is good, but perhaps offers a few more detailed examples than I'd actually like.
>134 bragan: I'm enjoying the 538 podcast. That has plenty of statistics and how they measure polls. Any more and I'd be overwhelmed. I did not do well in my college statistics class.
I've finished The Gardner Heist which took me months to read. It had a promising beginning but turned into a story of Ulrich Boser hanging out with shady characters.
I've started Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves, which is longlisted for the Booker.
I am reading the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia, The Magician's Nephew and plan on reading the whole Narnia series soon.
>136 avidmom: I'm guessing this isn't new to you.
So much ugly controversy over which is the "real" first novel. I stumbled upon The Magician's Nephew in the library as a child, and then discovered the rest of the books. Utter bliss for this 10 year old. I've grown away from those books now, but read them all at least 5 times each (some even more) and have very fond memories (even though I can now see the faults. Don't care).
>137 Nickelini: I'm guessing this isn't new to you.
Actually, believe it or not, it "kind of" is! I bought the 7-in-1 book for my boys back when Disney did the movie version of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I had never read it as a kid so thought I'd read it to my kids (they were smaller then!). Maybe it was too long ago when I read it aloud to them (I remember doing that), or maybe we never really got through it, because I did feel like I was reading it for the first time.
I am reading it now because I want to get to the nonfiction book I bought a few weeks ago, A Hobbit, A Wardrobe and a Great War about the connection between J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
I finished The Invention of Nature which is remarkable book about a remarkable man, Alexander von Humboldt.
I'm reading Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, a novel about China before, during and after the massacre in Tiananmen Square, which will hopefully win the Booker Prize next month, and Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich, the story of a famous patient with intractable epilepsy who underwent a prefrontal lobotomy by a US neurosurgeon in an attempt to control his seizures. The operation was unsucessful, and it left him profoundly amnestic, as he was unable to retain any new memories for more than 30 seconds. The author is the grandson of the neurosurgeon, and the book is about H.M., whose identity was shrouded in mystery throughout his life, the researcher who guarded H.M. and his personal details closely, and the author's grandfather, who had a laudable but controversial career.
Finished two collections of Austrian shorts (not the leather kind...) over the weekend, Thomas Bernhard's Der Stimmenimitator and Ilse Aichinger's Kleist, Moos, Fasane.
And started Gisela Elsner's Das Windei, a book I picked up because I recognised the author's name from Lichtjahre (on checking back, I see that Weidermann wasn't very enthusiastic about her, and doesn't mention this novel at all...).
I've recently finished A Heritage of Stars by Clifford D. Simak, which was very old school SF. And, keeping with that same theme, I finished making my way through the (rather brutal) trivia quizzes in The Official Star Trek Trivia Book, from 1980.
Now I'm reading a YA novel, A World Without You by Beth Revis, which I'm enjoying a lot more than I expected to.
Finished Por Que Gritamos Golpe? Para entender o impeachment e a crise política no Brasil, by Andre Singer, portuguese edition. Review in my thread. Colection of articles about contemporary brazilian politics.
I still haven't started the next volume of Proust that i should be reading, but in a 3-day marathon rarely leaving my recliner session, I did manage to finish A Brief History of Seven Killings just in time for book club. I also (finally!) finished Platero and I soI've started Henry VI, Part 2 as a subway book and will have to pick something else up soon...
Virginia Reeves's debut novel, Work Like Any Other was excellent. It did sometimes feel like a first novel, but it was also well-structured and Reeves created a complex and interesting main character. It may not have made it onto the Booker shortlist, but I'm glad I got to read it.
I'm now reading A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon, which I purchased some time ago, started it, abandoned it and I'm now giving it a second chance and enjoying it so far. It's about two Harvard students and it's set in the sixties.
I'm also working my way through a book of short stories, San Juan Noir, which are dark crime stories set in Puerto Rico's capitol city. They're interesting enough and I like discovering new authors, but the translator for all the stories is the same person, and so they all feel as though they had been written by the same person.
And I have a copy of DarkTown by Thomas Mullen, about the first black policemen in Atlanta. I like this author's work quite a bit and the subject matter sounds interesting, so I'm eager to start reading.
>147 ELiz_M: A Brief History of Seven Killings would be a challenging book club read!
I'm halfway through The Devourers, which is pretty interesting, and third through Emma. I also started It Looked Different on the Model, a humorous essay type of memoir, but it's very hit or miss for me (I am a very different person than I was when reading her second book back in 2003).
Finished Lichtjahre and another very good East German novel I was encouraged to read by what Weidermann said about it, Stille Zeile sechs by Monika Maron. I now have a lot of German authors on the virtual TBR list: not quite sure what I'm going to start next. There's a Max Frisch on the non-virtual shelf, but I think I need something a bit lighter just now - maybe I'll go back to my stock of British novels...
I'll move on to another Booker nominee, His Bloody Project this time. The plot and structure of the book are appealing, so I am looking forward to the weekend!
I've just finished an ER book, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. I might have a few quibbles about the writing, but the subject matter was really interesting. Now I've started on City of Blades, by Robert Jackson Bennett, the sequel to the terrific City of Stairs.
I am attempting to read and/or listen to Barkskins. It is loooooong.....
Finished Vineland yesterday...but I never really got into it. I'm starting The Argonautika by Apollonios Rhodios, who lived in 3rd century bce Alexandria.
On audio I'm trying to listen to White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America. I'm more than half way through, but also kind of bored.
Not in a reading slump, exactly, but seems my enthusiasm is low. A reading depression?? I'm hoping to get lost in The Argonautika.
Sorry, Daniel. :( Hoping you find a book that captures your attention soon.
I'm continuing slowly with Emma and just starting The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico and Spectacles, the memoir by Sue Perkins.
I have just finished poetry collection I am Minerva, have just started Ngoingoi Pēwhairangi: an extraordinary life by Tania Ka'ai, which is a biography of a famous Maori composer (two of whose songs, in the Maori language, reached #1 in the NZ hit parade - the only two songs in Maori to do so), administrator, and leader in the revival of the Maori language; and need to read Lady Susan by Jane Austen for my book group next week.
Finished Robert Seethaler's Ein ganzes Leben last night - excellent!
Hopping on to a Club Read bandwagon (and trying to distract myself from my massive plunge into German Lit) I've started The invention of nature. Feels a little bit self-consciously lowbrow so far ("...the French thinker Voltaire..."), but not too bad, and Alexander von Humboldt is someone I've wanted to know more about ever since reading Die Vermessung der Welt (one of the first books I reviewed after joining LT nine years ago!).
I am reading Framley Parsonage on and off. Dr Thorne was so much fun that I sharked through it, but this one seems to be a sort of Rake's Progress which is so certain to end in tears that I have little curiosity to keep me going. Will eventually march through, but have also begun Dissolution which has been off-puttingly printed for its tenth anniversary edition in almost total black, including all three page edges, making the book far from come-hitherish. Had a quick gallop through Inspector Cadaver (I take it the Touchstone reference is to the translator rather than the author) and fortunately have just been given a Tea With Mr Rochester, a collection of short stories by Frances Towers which has got off to a very good start and will probably stay ahead of the pack.
Since I last checked in here, I read a pretty good Doctor Who novel, Doctor Who: Dead of Winter by James Goss, and The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie (yes, that Hugh Laurie), then took a short humor break with F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers by Richard Benson.
I've now just started The Passage by Justin Cronin, having finally decided to start on on that series now that it's all out. And I'm also intermittently browsing through A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O'Brian's Seafaring Tales, as I'm hoping to finally get back to O'Brain's Aubrey-Maturin series soon, after stalling out on it for a while.
I've started Hard Tack and Coffee, a memoir/study of (union) army life during the US Civil War. I'm enjoying it more than I'd expected, and there's so much humor in it.
Also currently reading The Noodle Maker of Kalimpong (memoir by the current Dalai Lama's brother), Gastronomical Me by MFK Fisher, and Ostend: Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth, and the Summer Before the Dark.
After a ridiculous five-book weekend (it was raining, they were quite short books...) I'm slowing down with a good old-fashioned Léo Malet detective story, Kilomètres de linceuls.
Finished Bala perdida: A violência policial no Brasil e os desafios para sua superação, by Bernardo Kucinski, portuguese edition. Review in my thread.
I've finished Hag-Seed, Margaret Atwood's latest book. I don't see myself doing reviews this month, so I'll briefly say here that I really enjoyed this - it was really funny and a clever take on a retelling of the Tempest. BUT I never would have guessed it was Atwood writing if I didn't already know it. The humor was not what I associate with her and the book was much more male-oriented than I expect from her.
Now I'm reading Mrs. Bridge and continuing with Wrapped in Rainbows: the LIfe of Zora Neale Hurston.
I finished October by Richard Wright, which had some really lovely writing. Now I'm starting The Natural Way of Things by Australian writer Charlotte Wood. When I heard about this I had to buy it right away, but then I thought it sounded a bit too disturbing for me to actually read (I do that, often). But today I bought tickets to see her at the Vancouver Writer's Festival, so I'm going to read it before the event.
I'm a third of the way through All That Man Is by David Szalay, from the Booker Prize shortlist, which is good so far.
I just finished Ostend: Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth, and the Summer Before the Dark by Volker Weidermann, and it was a truly great read. It's a short gem, about 160 smallish pages, and I ended up reading it in almost one sitting while my computer reformatted. I have not actually read anything by Zweig or Roth, or any of the other authors in this book, though I've had some on my to-read list (mainly Zweigs, though now I'm totally focused on finding Irmgard Keun's books).
Now I'm working on Coming Out Under Fire by Allan Berube, which is tear-jerking at times, and very interesting, and focusing back on Gastronomical Me by MFK Fisher, which is very enjoyable so far.
Well, we have had a snag in our concert tour as several concerts cancelled because of Hurricane Matthew. After two days of consecutive 10 hour bus rides to get around the storm, we are just about back on track. As a result of 20 hours on a bus, I finished Mrs. Bridge, made progress on Wrapped in Rainbows, and read all of Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Tomorrow we have 5 hours on the bus and I'll start Confusion, the next book in the Cazalet series.
I'm heading towards Ostend as well, following a not-very-exciting encounter with Stefan Zweig by a riveting re-read of Radetzkymarsch. I'll have to toss a Keun to decide what to read after that...
(Touchstones seem to be on strike)
>182 japaul22: So sorry! It sounds like the only upside is extra reading time. Thank goodness you had a bunch of books (or ebooks) with you. :)
Discovered Sappho today - well, read her for the first time - in a 1958 translation by Mary Barnard. This was really a really nice two hours. I have four other translations from my library, including one by Anne Carson. Maybe I'll read them all.
The Argonautika is still in progress, but my energy is waning. On audio I have A Man Called Ove going, and I've gotten into it.
The book was a gift. It desappointed me a little bit, but I'm planning to read Moneyball. I saw the movie and decided to read the story.
Finished Como Matar a Borboleta Azul: Uma Crônica da Era Dilma, by Monica Baumgarten de Bolle, portuguese edition. It's an essay about the economy development of Brazil in the last years. Review in my thread.
I started on Yo el supremo yesterday, but didn't get much further than the editors' introduction (which takes up the first 90 pages). That intimidated me so much that I had to read a Maigret story to recover.
In parallel, I've also been dipping into Heinrich Mann's Professor Unrat (The Blue Angel), a slightly different kind of story about a tyrannical dictator...
I've started If Not, Winter : Fragments of Sappho by Anne Carson. It has the Greek text on one page, and the English translation (of the comprehensible part) on the facing page - with nothing filing the gaps. It's interesting but also a bit odd. The full phrase really stands out as seeming to be something relevant within the noise.
>196 dchaikin: Another Sappho! Sounds like you found another favorite subject.
I have been reading Pioneer Girl which is interesting for those of us who read and loved the Little House on the Prairie series. In addition to providing a first draft of Wilder's autobiography, it also discusses how Wilder's books eventually became published. A big and heavy book, with well documented footnotes throughout.
>198 This-n-That: I'm having to gear myself up for Pioneer Girl. I have chronic pain issues though and the size and weight of the book mean it will be so difficult for me to read. Due to the extensive footnotes I have a feeling it won't ever get an audio edition (semi-ridiculous since all they need is a different reader or a slightly different audio effect to denote what's Wilder's text and what is footnote. Oh well.
I recently finished a rare foray into realistic YA fiction, Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, which was excellent. Gabi is a really excellent role model, in terms of her critical thinking and rejection of sexist norms.
Halfway through The Girls From Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship, about a group of 10-11 women who grew up together and maintained their friendship through adulthood despite being scattered across the US. Nearly done with Gastronomical Me by MFK Fisher and hoping to start The Twilight of the Eastern Gods by Ismail Kadare after that.
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