It’s Monday! What Am I Reading?

on_mondaysAnother Monday is here and a literary awards week is behind us.  So what did everyone think?  I’ve never read anything by Hilary Mantel, though I already own Wolf Hall.  This weekend I went out and purchased two more of her novels:  A Change of Climate & Vacant Possession.  Both books are described as black comedies on the back cover – perfect October & November reading in my opinion.  Strangely, it never even occurred to me to look for something by Herta Mueller, even though I was at my favorite used bookshop of all time (Carroll & Carroll, Booksellers in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania) and spent a few minutes discussing the new Nobel laureate with the owner.  His verdict – who was last year’s winner?  I responded: I have no idea.  He nodded, Exactly.

Added to the Mantel stack were a few random books from Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series.  I’ve never read Peters, but a lovely couple who bought a bag of my books at a garage sale this past summer recommended her.  (And if you can’t trust random people who show up in your garage, in the rain, to buy your old paperbacks – well I ask you, who can you trust???)  What’s neat about the Brother Cadfael series is that it takes place during the English civil war, approximately 1139, between King Stephen & Empress Maud.  This it the war which immediately preceded Henry Plantagenet’s rule – for all the Mistress of the Art of Death fans out there.

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood is finished, and the review will be up this week.  This is by far my favorite book of 2009.  So much so that after listening to the audio book I bought the hardcover.  The search is now on for “new” used copies of Oryx and Crake to force on family, friends & unsuspecting strangers passing me on the street.  (Remember, there will be a quiz).

My current nightstand steady remains Eating Air by Pauline Melville.  This is one of those books that has me wishing for a blizzard, a log cabin in Maine, and enough food to last a week.  Barring that, I hope to finish by Friday.

Until then, my review for Amphibian by Carla Gunn went up over the weekend.

And for even more recommendations, please don’t forget to check out J. Kaye’s blog.  Happy Monday!

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9 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Am I Reading?

  1. Thanks for stopping by ladies.

    J. Kaye – try to read Oryx and Crake first, if you haven’t already – and keep in mind that The Year of the Flood is a GREAT book to listen to (I’ve been talking about the audio book in the Books on the Nightstand group at Goodreads).

    Jennifer – I’ll give you my verdict on Brother Cadfael after I’ve read a little more. I’d love to hear what you think about the other two books once you get to them.

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    1. A friend of mine mentioned the television shows as well…I’ll have to try to find them on Netflix. I never even realized that they existed! I’m working my way through The 4th Chronicle: St. Peter’s Fair. It’s hard to put down.

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  2. I agree — Year of the Flood is a wonderful read. It ties with Strawberry Fields by British-Ukrainian author Marina Lewycka as my favourite novel this year (a theme I just recognized in my reading selections is they are mostly all present- or future-focused — not terribly prevalent in Canadian literature). By the way, Margaret Atwood is blogging about her launching events for Year of the Flood: http://marg09.wordpress.com/
    On this site she even has Saint Euell’s Day recipes – fun!

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    1. Hi Carla – Thanks for stopping by (and for the chance to tell you directly how much I enjoyed Amphibian)! I read A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian last year and hadn’t realized Marina Lewycka had a new novel out… I’ll have to look into it. As well as the Saint Euell’s Day recipes! I hope I manage to be as awesome as Margaret Atwood when I grow up!

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      1. And thanks to you, too! My publisher informed me of your site (and the review of Amphibian) and I’m finding it interesting and informative. I’ve jotted down a few of your recent recommendations.

        Marina Lewycka also has a novel coming out in February called We Are All Made of Glue. Gauging from some of your reviews, I think you’ll enjoy Strawberry Fields.

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