I've been reading A.L. Kennedy's Everything You Need fairly exclusively since Thursday. It's slow paced, with tons of the interiority that I find so greatly appealing, and it's set in a writers colony on Foal Island (I've just past the point where the island's name is explained) off the coast of Wales. The basic premise is that 19-year-old Mary Lamb has come to the island not knowing that horror writer and wannabe suicide Nathan Staples, who is to be her mentor during her seven years on the island, is the father she's long believed to be dead. I hope it doesn't take seven years for Mary to find out the truth, but I'm enjoying Kennedy's style and wit enough at this point to stick with it even if it does.
I've only the novella in Andrea Barrett's Ship Fever left to read. I love stories about 19th century natural history and science; I'll probably dip into Servants of the Map before the year is out. There's a contemporary story, though, where Barrett employs a first personal plural narrator in a couple of sections--since the "we" consists of the two Marburg sisters and the reader knows quite well which sister is telling the story it was rather jarring to hear her refer to herself by name in those cases and distracted from rather than contributed to the closeness between the sisters that she was trying to convey. I'll read "Ship Fever" in a day or two.
I jotted down several names and titles from the comments at the LitBlog Co-op a few days back. Of those I might give Percival Everett's American Desert a try. And I really like the cover of Mary Caponegro's story collection Complexities of Intimacy, but the library doesn't have it and I really don't need to be buying books for their covers these days.
And I'm really on Technorati's black list now: not only does it claim that I haven't updated my blog in 32 days, but it says no one has ever ever linked to the blog!