It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! – and here is what I’ve been up to:

I posted A Discussion of Two Novels by Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake & The Year of the Flood.  It’s a discussion, rather than a review, because I tried to keep the focus on the narrative techniques & away from any major plot points.   So much of the fun of reading these novels comes out of piecing the stories together. To give too much away would ruin the genius of the books.  Both are fabulous reads and I hope I was able to do them justice.

Pauline Melville had an article up in the Guardian UK with her Top 10 list of revolutionary tales.  I posted an excerpt that provides some interesting insight to her latest novel.  Which led me to ask: “How much you want to know about the book you’re reading?  There’s a poll up – so please check it out and let me know your thoughts.

As part of Arianna Huffington’s evil plan for complete global domination:  The Huffington Post has a new Books section (and it’s about time!).  There’s a nifty feature where a blogger can automatically have comments they make to an article posted directly to their blog.  I did a little test run with Beth Kephart’s article on the new FTC Guidelines, entitled Do Book Bloggers Make a Difference?.

I also finished Saint Peter’s Fair, my first book in the Brother Cadfael Chronicles by Ellis Peters, and have started The Virgin in the Ice.  Since finding these books is hit and miss, I’m reading them completely out of order.  It would be ridiculous to try to finish the series before reviewing it, so I’ll be posting my opinion of the series so far in the next day or so. I’ve just received Into Great Silence from Netflix, a documentary on a French Monastery.  I love when everything falls into place like that.

Happy Monday Everyone!  Don’t forget to stop by at J. Kaye’s Blog to see more of what people are reading.

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!