Bookalicious – 21 October 2011

My shelves are too bookalicious for you, baby. I read a lot. Well, not a lot compared to some people, but way more than is probably normal. Sometimes the books I’m reading from week to week will be the same, but I’ll endeavor to let you know what I’m thinking about them as I make progress (or don’t). I am and always have been a poly-reader – meaning I read multiple books simultaneously – so sorry if I give you whiplash. Here’s what’s on my nightstand these days and how I’m feeling about it!

New This Week

  • The Night Swimmer by Matt Bondurant
    Pages read: 101 of 276
    Here’s another book I’m reading for the VA Festival of the Book, and I have to say, I’m pretty well entrenched in this one. An American couple, probably around my age and stage in life, enter a contest to win an Irish pub in a tiny town at the southwest corner of Ireland. And they win. So they move to Ireland, where they know absolutely no one, and try to carve out a new life together. The back of the book promises insanity and an unraveling relationship, though I haven’t gotten to that part yet…but the writing is good. Captivating and descriptive and tense. There’s a scene where they are trying to sail with a new friend out to a lighthouse, and the weather suddenly turns rough so they have to turn back. That sounds sort of blase, but the writing turns that situation up to near murder mystery-tension – not in the action, but in the characters’ emotions and responses. I kind of want to go back and dissect that scene to figure out how he did it. And the Irish setting and Gaelic words sprinkled throughout never hurt (I still want to learn Gaelic someday, and I love Celtic mythology probably above all other mythology, so I’m sort of predisposed that way). I’m looking forward to the rest of this one!

In Progress

Note on in-progress books: I’m only posting the book cover the very first time I add the book to the list on the blog, but you can see the covers by following the links in the titles.

  • Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk
    Pages read: 34 of 368
    This one’s a little slower going, but I leave on Sunday for another work trip where I’ll have ample plane time and hotel-room-at-night-alone time, so I’ll probably dig in a little more then. The book is interesting and the writing is excellent, but each chapter is like a little vignette, so it’s really easy to put it down…which isn’t good for a library book I have to take back next Wednesday, probably. Must commit to it on my trip!
  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
    Pages read:55 of 754
    Still stuck, going nowhere on this so far. No further comment.

Finished This Week

If you want to read my full reviews, see the Goodreads links below; for books I’ve finished, I’m planning to give just a five-sentence review on the blog.

  • The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde
    Read my review on Goodreads
    The third book in the Thursday Next series from Jasper Fforde, this one takes place entirely in the Book World as Thursday tries to escape for a calm, safe place for a while. You see, she’s pregnant and her husband doesn’t technically exist after some time travel manipulation in the last book, so she needs a place to chill and have the kid before she goes back to the real world to fight to get her husband back in existence. But she still has to work for Jurisfiction, the Book World policing agency, and she and her mentor Miss Havisham stumble into a massive conspiracy with multiple murders…while someone is trying to erase Thursday’s husband from her memory, too. Though there’s an upsetting death among the many deaths of Book World characters, and I did miss Thursday’s dad and her uncle Mycroft, I got to see more of Thursday’s Gran, who is a fascinating old broad. I think this is my favorite book of the series so far; it was action-packed, a little different because it was in the Book World, and had a LOT going on to feed the silliness and quirkiness.

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