Sunday, October 30, 2011

one book, two book, three book four... and five

I'm doing this meme again, along with Stuck-in-a-Book. A quick reading round up...

The book I'm currently reading...

Night Waking by Sarah Moss
Erm, so I saw a review of this on Stuck-in-a-Book as well, and it intrigued me so I picked this up from the library. A historian is staying on the small Hebridean island her husband owns with her husband and two small children for the summer, when she finds the bones of a child buried on the property. Incorporates children's/19th C. history along with musings on good parenting and relationships. I enjoyed it (I just finished it... but it still counts, right?), speculating on the narrators state of mind and following her attempts to uncover local history. It did wrap up perhaps a bit too smoothly though.

The last book I finished...

Besides Night Waking that is!
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
I've been keen on Angela Carter since my friend Georgia lent me The Bloody Chamber, so I was interested to read this to follow up on the circus theme I started with The Night Circus. Also to follow along on the theme of books with 'night' in the title, it seems. It's pretty hard to sum up what I thought of this book, which follows the aerialiste Fevvers, a tall cockney performer who may or may not have real wings. It's kind of grotesque, and also puts a bunch of Marxist/Feminist language in the mouths of the main characters, which has a kind of tongue-in-cheek feel that somehow adds to the surrealism. Overall it's a good read, even if I do not always get along with the grotesque, and deserves more than a paragraph of discussion!

The next book I want to read...

Maus by Art Spiegelman
I really enjoy autobiographies/memoirs in comic book style, and this book in which a holocaust survivor tells his son his story is meant to be hugely influential in this genre, and possibly the first of its kind, so I have been vaguely meaning to read it for a while. I'm going to look it up in the library, but you never know, I might end up reading something by Christopher Fowler (writer of Fantasy/Crime novels!) instead, or something from my fairy tales collection, or...

The last book I bought...

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I bought this after reading a highly persuasive review in The Guardian (who incidentally also pubished an article on Maus the other day) and seeing it promoted in my favourite local bookshop... Too easily swayed. I've written a review of it here, suffice to say that it is a book that creates a magical circus for its readers, in a 19th century world of magic and performers and nights.

The last book I was given...

Ragnorak by A.S. Byatt

I'd really been looking forward to this book, so I was pretty excited when my friend Angi offered to give me her copy. I love both A.S. Byatt and Norse mythology, but I'm still not sure that I'm sold on this book. Maybe it's the difference in religious outlook- I'm a Christian and this book is about a child realising that they don't believe in God, or maybe it's because the Norse myths in this book seem quite static, without much of a narrative sense pulling them forward. There is some beautiful writing in this very short book which combines the story of a young girl growing up in WWII and reading Norse myths, said to be semi-autobiographical, with a retelling (sort of from the girl's perspective) of the myths themselves.


  1. Anonymous8/11/11 19:54

    Whew! a long time between posts. Or at least, a long time since I've logged.
    Just bought Kiplings "Kim" after having dinner with a Sri Lankan man who thought it was the greatest book in English about India - that or "The White Tiger" by Arvind Adiga, which I also bought. On the other side was an Indian economist, so it was pretty literary. Both of them had that Indian seriousness about ideas which we seem to have post. Or maybe never had.

    We were at a wedding of one of my post grads: Half Czech/ Chinese boy marries Philipino / Chinese girl. Very multicultural in the Catholic church. Of course I don't approve of multiculturalism as a policy, but there you are.

    I've started reading Kim, and it looks promising. Hooray for second hand bookshops. The only fly in the ointment is that it is a scholarly edition from 2005 full of PC annotations which merely annoy me.

  2. Well last month had some of the shortest times between posts this whole year! I'm sorry for not keeping you as updated as you would like. :p

    Enjoy Kim, I haven't read it.