Friday, March 01, 2013

What I've been reading lately

There's been so much real life in 2013. Unless the froth of craziness whipped up by a particular family member (see: six-word memoir) extends even further in the coming weeks or months, and I am hoping it cannot, the worst coming from that direction is at an ebb. At least for now.

As is my husband's cancer. Hurray for negative surgical margins!

This is what I've been reading when I've been able to read:

Breakfast of Champions. Kurt Vonnegut. Since I reread this on the heels of my reread of The French Lieutenant's Woman in late December, I couldn't keep from wishing that Kilgore Trout someone would write a story where Vonnegut and Fowles are observed discussing how they are going to put themselves into their own stories to observe their characters. Perhaps they could pop into each other's books to further their discussion and spy upon one another's characters as well. C. says I should write this story, but I don't have the wherewithal for such at the moment. Someone else do it and then let me read it, okay?

The Eustace Diamonds. Anthony Trollope. What fun. And parts were set in Scotland, too.

Small Island. Andrea Levy. My choice for book club. Turnout was small, but the book was well-received, even by those who were unable to attend, because real life happens to them, too. I had trouble focusing at the beginning, but became totally absorbed in the second half. I've passed the book on to CP, who is taking it slow, because of Hortense's tendency to be a pill.

The Uninvited. Liz Jensen. Whoa. Now I have to read more Liz Jensen as soon as the TBR Double Dog Dare is through. Why have I never heard of Jensen before now?

The Judge. Rebecca West. A second read for a discussion at Goodreads.

Life After Life. Kate Atkinson. Loved this and look forward to reading it again once my physical copy arrives. Is it ultimately a book about the transmigration of souls within parallel universes? It seemed very appropriate to spend my time with Ursula, looping through her lives, reliving the same scenes and conversations, while I was sitting in L.'s hospital room as he was coming off anesthesia, asking me the same questions over and over again.

Brazzaville Beach. William Boyd. Books do wait on us, but if we allow them to attain mythic proportions in our minds in the meantime, we may find ourselves a tad disappointed when we finally get around to them.

May We Be Forgiven. A.M. Homes. I've been reading about, but not reading A.M. Homes for a good 15 years or so, sure that she would prove to be too dark or too extreme for me. Either this is Homes' All the Pretty Horses or my tastes run even darker than I thought, but I enjoyed the hell out of this book.

Toby's Room. Pat Barker. Now my appetite is set for reading Robert Graves' Good-Bye to All That.

Ragtime. E.L. Doctorow. I guess it had been 34 years since I'd last read this. I remembered some of the people in it, but had totally forgotten the plot. How typical of me.

And I'm reading William Gaddis' The Recognitions with Wendy. At the pace we're taking, we should finish around the end of April.


  1. Lots of good reading you've been doing. I hope the craziness does calm down. Great news about your husband.

  2. Glad to see you back.
    The French Lieutenant's Woman started me on a kick of reading everything by Fowles while I was in college. Haven't reread him since, but we had an intense affair for a year or so.

  3. Very happy to see a post from you! And I hope the maelstrom is passing you for a good long while.

    I'm beyond excited about Atkinson's new book. I have an e-galley but haven't gotten to read it yet. I'm trying to hold off until closer to the pub date, but I'm not sure I can wait much longer!

  4. Wow, that's a long list! I really enjoyed Small Island, we'd picked it for out book club as well last year.


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