First of all, thanks, everyone, for the kind comments on the last post. I really appreciate all your good thoughts and ideas — it also just feels good to be able to air my mind a bit, so thanks for listening.
In other news, it’s summer (okay, not technically, but for my purposes, it’s summer) which means I have more than the typical amount of time for leisure reading. LEISURE READING, WOO!!!
Here’s what I’ve been up to lately — with a few requests for advice and ideas as well.
Chase Us – Sean Ennis
I’ve been a fan of Sean Ennis’s short stories for a while now, having read them in a few online journals over the years. This collection just came out a couple of weeks ago, and I read it cover to cover within a week. The stories are bright, witty, strange, and compelling. They’re loosely interconnected, but with unexpected revisions, paradoxes, and a flexible chronology. If you’re looking for fiction that’s gripping and insightful, you might just love this.
NOTE: I confess I may be a bit biased on this one — most of you know Sean is a friend of mine (and the partner of my BFF, Claire) — but I honestly think I would have enjoyed this book just as much even if I didn’t know the author personally. It’s just the sort of short fiction I like.
Harry Hole Novels – Jo Nesbø
At this point, I’ve read, totally out of chronological order, The Bat, The Redbreast, Nemesis, and The Snowman. I have really been enjoying these books, but I usually have to take a break in between installments, since the stories and the main character are just so…excessively masculine. The writing is nicely dry; the Scandinavian setting is fun for me; I like the main character. I just need to read the novels in small doses.
The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri
I read this for my summer class — I’d never read it before and I’m preparing to teach (excerpts from) it next week — and I really enjoyed it. Lahiri’s characters are so richly drawn and fully realized and the plot (straightforward Realism, pretty much) wound up absorbing me more than I would have predicted. Now I’m interested in reading The Lowland. Have any of you read it yet?
Gabriel García Márquez
Okay, this is more of a question than anything. I have recently been reading García Márquez, but only a single short story for teaching purposes. I would like to read either One Hundred Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera next, but I’m not sure which. Do any of you have a strong feeling either way?
Kindle Library Books
And finally! Another question! This is what I have new on my Kindle right now. The following are library books and get top priority: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, The Circle by Dave Eggers, The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison, and Cockroaches by Jo Nesbø. I’m currently reading Life After Life: I’m about 7% through and I’m finding it a struggle to pay attention so far. (Do I need to remember who Sylvie, Margaret, Bridget, et al are? I can’t keep anyone straight so far, and not because it’s that difficult but because I’m not focusing. Also the prose style is so precious — I think the book takes place across a range of times/places, right? Does the voice adapt along with the setting, or is it all vaguely stiff/flowery/Victorian?)
So my questions: 1) please tell me this book gets more gripping because I keep hearing good things and I want to read/like it, and 2) which other one should I read next?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts, friends!