What are we reading Jan-June 2024
Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.
The Feast of All Saints by Anne Rice, a historical fiction about the free mixed-race French people in the 1840. The style is full of flourishes but it's really interesting.
Men Who Hate Women by Laura Bates, recommended by LynnB. I had actually tried to start an Everyday Sexism initiative at work, based on Bates's initial idea, but it was too controversial. 10 years later this book comes out and it's more relevant than ever. Truly disturbing but Bates does an amazing job of pulling all the strings together.
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake, a WWII novel set half in London, half in a sleepy Massachusetts town. The writing is very strong even if the story a bit slow to unfold.
In the late 19th century, 12-year old Charlotte lives with her father at Fayne (in Scotland or England). Her mother died in childbirth and her brother died when she was young, as well (Charlotte does not remember her brother). Charlotte is extremely smart and her father hires a tutor for her (who is initially perturbed that he was brought to tutor a girl). She wants to attend university.
This did not turn out as I’d expected. It was very long and I’m rating it ok. There were parts I liked (more toward the beginning of the book), but whenever we switched perspectives, I felt like I was starting over (even though after the first couple of times, we were mostly going back and continuing from where the last switch left off), and wasn’t interested for the first bit (of every switch). It took time to get interested again, but just as that happened, we switched again.
So, the other perspective is Charlotte’s mother. I honestly didn’t find this nearly as interesting, overall, as Charlotte herself. Though, after a bit, I was interested (then… switch!). Clarissa (Charlotte’s aunt) was a piece of work, wow! I didn’t like her from the start. The end was a bit weird:
I've also picked up the small book Histoires jamais entendues dans un sushi bar au Japon par Masayo Kokonoke, a series of short stories.
It's part of a travelling series called Histoires jamais entendues (insert typical location of a country here); so far there are 5 countries: Japan, Nepal, Ireland, Spain and Brazil. Several other countries are planned, including Canada. The books are written by authors from the country. My daughter and I were so delighted by the idea that we bought all 5 in the series in a floating barge bookstore in Paris - one of the most unique and lovely bookstores I've ever been in. I recommend it: https://www.penichelibrairie.com/
Amir is a 9-year old Syrian boy who survives a shipwreck. Everyone else to be seen has washed up on shore, dead. He is on an island, but doesn’t know where he is, nor does he understand the language. When two men see him and point and shout, Amir gets scared and runs. He runs into Vanna, 15-years old and though they are unable to communicate verbally, she hides him.
The story then shifts to “Before”, which brings us up to date on how Amir got where he is. We go back and forth between Amir’s before and “After”. Much of after is told from Vanna’s POV, but occasionally we switch to the POV of a colonial who is dead set on finding Amir, the little boy who ran away.
Given that it’s (primarily) from a 9-year old’s POV, it took a bit to figure out what was going on through much of the story. I am still not sure I understand the ending. But it was a “good” (powerful) story, even so.
I finished Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman. It was a good story. I enjoyed Dr. Delaware's psychoanalyses but the intrigue was plodding: I definitely was not sitting on the edge of my seat since I figured out the denouement fairly easily.
I was invited to a book club this year so I'm reading for that. Right now it's Hag-Seed (my pick), Atwood's retelling of The Tempest and after that it's The Silent Patient which I'm not familiar with.
My friend and I are also reading through Tamsin Muir's The Locked Tomb series as it was recommended to him based on a book he's writing. We're both literature nerds so it's fun to read and compare. We've read through Gideon and Harrow, and I'm waiting for Nona the Ninth to arrive at the library. Not my favourite in terms of writing, but the discussions we've been having about what might be going on (especially in Harrow) have been fun. Science Fantasy I've heard it called, genre wise.
And the books I picked up recently are Annihilation (the movie was really neat so reading the book), No Longer Human (I saw a Junji Ito manga based on this but I'm not much of a manga reader), Slaughterhouse Five (because I haven't read it yet) and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman because I wanted another Murakami book.
Oh, and the previous book club book we read was The Personal Librarian. I got an audio copy and really enjoyed it. It's a fictionalized account of the life of Belle da Costa Greene, the librarian for the J. P. Morgan library in New York. I had no idea who she was at the start and found the politics and art scene in New York at the time to be interesting.
I was a little disappointed that Lamont didn't draw more on the Canadian model - it's all very US focused. It tries to present various points of view and in doing so, muddles the main message. It's very narrow in scope but with wildly broad approach. In short, I didn't love it, but I agree that it's important to apply a sociology lens to modern problems and not just an economy one.
You have misspelled Tamsyn and therefore have created a dead link to her author page.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman, which I really enjoyed
and Not Dark Yet by Peter Robinson, which I liked, but it made me sad again that there will be no more Inspector Banks novels.
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