August 2009: What are you reading?
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In quick order I picked up and finished Thought You Were Dead by Canadian author Terry Griggs - touchstones don't appear to like the title - a humorous (highlight on the word humorous) murder mystery that involves a literary researcher/ slacker/ reluctant detective that finds himself unwittingly and unwillingly drawn into researching a mysterious tombstone, the disappearance of his employer - a fiction crime writer, and the death of a reviewer/ copy editor. A book I thoroughly enjoyed.
Next up is Incendiary by Chris Cleave.
I absolutely loved Anil's Ghost. It's my favourite Ondaatje. Not reading anything Canadian at the moment, but I'm taking two Canadian courses this autumn, so I'll be over here often.
I have started a fictionalized biography of Zelda Fitzgerald,Alabama Song by Gilles Leroy (French author). Fascinating and heart-wrenching.
I finished Incendiary by Chris Cleave - It was alright but it did not capture my attention in the same way that Little Bee did. I then quickly read Girl in Hyacinth Blue - I enjoyed the book once I made it past the second chapter/short story - that chapter really did seem out of sync with the rest of the book.
I am now reading some short stories - Rhyming Life and Death by Amos Oz, The Reason for Crows by Diane Glancy and then The English Stories by Cynthia Flood.
I'm starting French authors this week: Le métier de lire, interviews of Bernard Pivot about his cultural and literary shows, meeting iconic authors and discussing books
Les gens du Balto by young author Faïza Guène, who at 23 is at her third novel. She describes life in the Paris "ghettos" with insight, and while she talks of street culture, she does not glorify it, quite the contrary.
I finished The English Stories by Cynthia Flood (loved it!) and The Order of Things by Lynne Hinton (an alright story and a quick read). As it is a cold, overcast day today, I am looking forward to curling up in a chair for the afternoon and reading The Traitor's Wife by Susan Higgonbotham.
- edited to fix touchstones -
I've been travelling in Scotland and Russia and getting some reading done on those long flights. Not sure when July ended and August started (great vacation!), but did read: Long Hard Road out of Hell by Marilyn Manson (don't ask!); The Factory Voice by Jeanette Lynes about Canadian women building aircraft during WWII; The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing; The Book of Secrets by M.G. Vassanji (not my favourite) and am now engrossed by The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford. This one is really good so far.
Last night I read the first half of Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King. It won CBC Canada Reads a few years ago, and I can see why. Great book--very clever and lots of fun to read.
I'm reading the first part of Le poids des secrets, Tsubaki, by Montrealer Aki Shimazaki. There is a very interesting passage on the atomic bomb that fell on Nagasaki and the Japanese perception on its rationale.
I have also started Ritournelle de la faim by Nobel prize winner JMG Le Clézio. Its rhythm is apparently based on Ravel's Boléro - I'm really looking forward to reading more.
I'm reading The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov - I sense it will be an intellectual challenge as I have already spent an hour on Wikipedia polishing up on my Roman and religious history - and I'm only 40 pages into the book! The writing is fabulous and the characters are described with precision you feel you know them. The blur of myth and history is also wonderfully done - this will be a real discovery.
For a complete change, I've also started Casino Royal by Ian Fleming. I'm enjoying it but it's hard to keep the movie from my mind and I can already detect some inconsistencies...
I am really enjoying Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (although it's difficult to get the green monster out of my head).
I have also been reading a children's book for grown-up by Tom Robbins, one of my favourite authors, B is for Beer.
Finally I've started Papa, Maman, écoutez-moi vraiment by respected child psychologist Jacques Salomé who has a real talent of translating children's need into adult language.
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