WHAT ARE YOU READING? - Part 1
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Welcome to the first "What are you reading?" thread for the year. Pull up a chair closer to the fire (or under the shade on the veranda if you live in a place where it is really not the season for fires) and tell us how your reading year started. And don't forget to come back and update us on your reading - while the individual threads are your own diaries, this thread is the groups's diary.
So happy new year and have a wonderful reading year!
I'm halfway through The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman, which is about a girl who was kidnapped and held for almost two years, and also about Vladimir Nabokov while he was working on Lolita.
I've also just started Warlight by Michael Ondaatje and all I can say about it so far is that the writing is very, very good.
I am reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. It is the January selection for my IRL book group, and we are meeting to discuss it on the 9th. As a result, I think I will end up reading it more quickly than I might want to.
I had visions of all sorts of reading time over the Christmas holidays, but the reality was less book time and more time spent with family and friends, and cooking. So much cooking.
I started Moon of the Crusted Snow last night which is a mix between "a life in a First Nation tribe" novel and an apocalyptic one. So far, it is an interesting read.
I finished in the Presence of the Enemy by Elizabeth George last night. Tonight I will start A Morbid Taste for Bones (Brother Cadfael Cronicles). It is Book 1 in the series by Ellis Peters.
I’m listening to The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths.
I am reading Straight On Till Morning: the Biography of Beryl Markham by Mary S. Lovell and am listening to Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel.
I'm reading The Bus on Thursday, and I can tell it will be one I want to discuss with people.
I should add that I’m listening to Becoming. Recommended to those who need a pick-me-up. She reads the audiobook herself.
My first book of 2019 is My Sister, the Serial Killer. So far, so good!
Blew through Peter Høeg's latest: The Susan Effect, and now I'm about the crack the latest Rebus novel by Ian Rankin.... Also, carrying on with Why We Dream: The Transformative Power of Our Nightly Journey by Alice Robb.
I read the really curious Jude yesterday, which means I've finished the Catholic Epistles. One more NT book to read, Revelations.
And so I've started... Twelfth Night. I'm reading it with a Litsy Group, one act a week.
Finished Milkman, which is brilliant and stands a good chance of being one of my top books of 2019 (maybe I should just stop now...).
I’ve moved on to Eric Vuillard’s L’Ordre du jour - I somehow seem to have fallen into a groove of books that have won major prizes. Neither this nor the other scarlet thread through my 2019 reading so far, “books by people called Eric”, was planned in any way...
>29 mabith: Bad luck! I never quite saw the point of Massie.
Just started The Maze at Windermere for book club. The first chapter was meh, but the next got better.
I finished reading What There Is To Say We Have Said: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and William Maxwell edited by Suzanne Marrs. I started reading this one in October. At first I found it boring, but then I got into the friendship and realized that writing letters is an act of friendship and I ended up really liking this book.
>34 benitastrnad: It’s a sweet book, is it it? I’ve had it on my bedside table forever and dip in and out whenever I need a bit of gentility and rose bush talk. I love correspondence collections—I like to write physical letters myself—and that ease of communication is such a nice model.
My first book of the year was Ways to Hide in Winter, which was about guilt, forgiveness, and compassion, and I’m currently reading The Devoted, which digs deep into themes of faith, fidelity, and searching. Two very thinky books, which I like... though my next just may have to be a potboiler to even things out. We’ll see.
Just finished the most recent Rebus novel. Yum. I read it in two days mostly because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to keep track of all the characters and plot points if I left it for long. I also realize I've been aging alongside Rebus....
Finished a little dip into the pioneering submarine-warfare epic, Beowulf, and got through listening to Zorba the Greek without succumbing to the urge to stretch my arms out and start dancing.
Have now started in on Alles außer irdisch, a well-meant Christmas present from someone who thought I like science-fiction...
>40 BLBera: I’m looking forward to Spring! (Appropriately enough, it’s due out at the end of March.)
I'm still reading Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. I wasn't expecting to like it much - I didn't find The English Patient to be particularly noteworthy, but this is really good - very atmospheric and sort of cloudy.
I'm also reading A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen, about a guy who moves to Moscow to take care of grandmother, who has Alzheimer's. He has a doctorate in Slavic Studies, but is stuck teaching on-line classes and scrambling to find a decent teaching job. It's just great.
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So sorry to bother you..I was bullied for 4 years, it affected my whole life. I always loved writing and after 32 years I finally gained the courage to write my first Novel- My Dead Blue Caterpillar. Would love for you to read it if you like 🙏
I just read it. and it was amazing. Good for you to do what you love in the face of the worlds cruelties. If only the rest of the world showed the courage you do.
I finished Being Mortal last night and now I am struggling a bit with what to pick up next. I have a whole pile of books I have previously started, but picking the right one for my mood is proving to be tricky. I think I'll go with Whose Body?, which I started back in January of last year, restarted in December, then paused on in order to finish the book group book.
I had a book come in at the library so I started reading Last Seen In Lhasa during my walk there and back.
I finished reading Straight On Till Morning: The Biography of Beryl Markham by Mary S. Lovell. This is a straightforward biography with all the facts of this remarkable woman's life. I had read Markham's autobiography West With the Night late last year and found it to be a wonderful book to read, but it left me with questions about Markham's life. For that reason I picked up this biography. It filled in the holes and I am glad I read it.
I'm rereading A Prayer for Owen Meany for my book club. I loved it 20-odd years ago, so I'm wondering if it will hold up for me.
I finished Crime and Punishment so I've started Quicksand by Nella Larsen. I had never heard of her, but I found her on the 1001 books list. She is a mixed race American writer in the 1920s. Her father was a black American and her mother was a Danish immigrant. Quicksand is largely autobiographical.
I'm also getting close to finishing SPQR.
I felt like something different for my end-of-the-work-week read so I started The Lost Letters of William Woolf which I picked up at the library. It was in addition to the book I'd requested but how can you walk out of the library with just one book?
I bought some shiny new books today and started The Waiter on the trip home.
Finished Revelation today, which means I've finished not only the NT but I've now read through all the basic biblical writings (OT, NT and Apocrypha). I started Jan 1, 2012. Doesn't mean I'm starting any new books yet, however. Have three others going on.
>64 dchaikin: What an accomplishment! I wonder if you will feel at a slight loss, once the excitement of being finished is over?
>65 ELiz_M: Immediate feeling is just the opposite. : ) I really liked taking it off my currently reading post - it’s been there a long time.
I went looking for Manual for the Solution of Military Ciphers based on Katherine's (qebo) recommendation and it was *right there* waiting for me to read it.
>51 avaland: Interested to hear what you think of Ghost Wall. It was dark enough that I appreciated its brevity—I'm not sure I would have wanted to live in that world for more than 200 pages—but I thought it was well done and absorbing.
Now I'm reading Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming, which is delightful. I was a big fan of hers already, and have been looking forward to reading this since I saw her talking about it at a conference last summer. Her voice in this is just terrific.
I've started The Sea House by Esther Freud (thanks for the recommendation Alison!) and Augustus by John Williams. Seems like a good time to read that after recently finishing SPQR. I've only read about 20 pages but can already see so many references I'd miss or be confused about if I hadn't read SPQR first.
I've started on Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd, which seems to be bringing up lots of strange touchstone titles that contain sleeve quotation recommendations rather than the proper title. The actual book is 'Unnatural Causes: The Life and Many Deaths of Britain's Top Forensic Pathologist'.
So far so interesting.
In the last few days I've finished two Christmas present books: the Berlin-based, H2G2-ish Alles außer irdisch and Adam Kay's medical memoir This is going to hurt (which reminded me of the first thing I learnt at college: never sit within earshot of the medics at lunchtime). And two short books for the Mediterranean theme-read, Sworn virgin by Elvira Dones (Albania) and Scenes from village life by the late Amos Oz (Israel). I'm going to have to read more Oz...
Now reading another Daniel Kehlmann novel, F, and another Med-thread book, What's Left of the Night by Ersi Sotiropoulos (Greece).
>70 lisapeet: I'm 3/4 through Ghost Wall and am somewhat speechless about the book. There is something so compelling about it, and something so ...er...current (and not just because it's touted as a feminist story -- perhaps it something about our relationship between the past, the present and the future?) The NYTBR has a full page on it, but I don't want to read that until I've finished the book. I bought the book because I've read two other Sarah Moss novels, and have a fourth in the TBR pile.
Finished Why We Dream and along with finishing up the Sarah Moss mentioned previously, I'm read Ann Turner's thriller set in Antarctica, Out of the Ice.
>77 avaland: Yeah, it's a strange bird, but a very irresistible one. I do think it would have become cumbersome as a longer book, and am glad she made the editorial choices she did.
Michelle Obama's memoir is like the antidote to that, though! Whatever kind of advisement/help she had on this book—and I like to think she did most of the writing herself—was spot on. It's a very smart, insightful comfort read, which I think is no small feat.
I've now checked a copy of Ghost Wall out from the library.
I'm almost finished rereading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. It's well worth a second read, and I'm finding that different aspects stand out to me this time. I'm looking forward to my book club discussion tomorrow night.
I'm also reading The Lonely Witness by William Boyle, a crime novel where the main character behaves erratically and seemingly without motivation. Hoping the author pulls it all together in the end.
And I've started Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala, about a young man sent to live in Nigeria when his parents discover his sexual orientation.
>78 lisapeet: Just finished Becoming this morning. What will I do without the daily inspiration to combat the daily awful news?
For my next audiobook I’m going to try How to Be Both by Ali Smith. I’ll blame many people here for finally trying this author and Mark (thorold), specifically for this title. It will be my first Ali Smith.
I am reading The other side of the sun, Paul capon. Paul Capon was a British science fiction writer and this is the first book in his Antigeos trilogy.
I finished both reading Whose Body? and listening to Zero G yesterday, so I have started on Miss Landon and Aubranael (ebook) and Foreigner (audiobook, technically a reread).
And I need to see if the library copies of Remarkable Creatures are available yet; it is the February selection for my IRL book group.
>81 dchaikin: I knooooow. I'm only about halfway through but really, it's my ray of sunshine for the day. And the good vibe reverberates: yesterday I was squashed on the #1 train downtown with hundreds of my fellow commuters when I noticed that the woman standing next to me was reading the book too. And I nudged her, held up my copy, and did a little "cheers" motion, and she did the same. Tell you what, anything that makes me smile on the subway is a good thing.
I finished the book I was reading on the trip to work, so on the way home I started A Train in Winter which I picked up from the library on Tuesday.
>91 RidgewayGirl: Oh, nice. I can hear her voice in my head as I read, and her husband's when she quotes him. I guess that's one good thing about celebrity memoirs.
The same woman reading the book was on my train again this morning, and we actually sat next to each other, smiled at each other, and buried our heads in our respective books.
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