Reading Recently

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

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.

[152/365] The Namesake

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?

[163/365] Amended :(

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!


  1. I really liked Life After Life, in general. The ending kind of ruined it for me a little bit, but I was into it from the start, so I can’t say whether it gets “better” as it goes. I would stick with it, at least until she’s a bit older, and see what you think then.


    1. I am definitely going to stick with it for a while — I think I may have just not been in the right mood the other day.


  2. That Ennis book sounds right up my alley! Thanks for the rec.

    And I read The Circle and liked it, for the most part. It’s less literary fiction and more cautionary tale, especially toward the end, and the characters are sort of one dimensional, but it has some interesting things to say about our Internet culture.

    I just finished Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, which I liked quite a bit – especially the second half. I will be reviewing soon. And now I’m reading Ready Player One so I can teach it in the fall, and it’s super geeky and super fun – a perfect summer read, if you catch my drift.


    1. I think you would really like Chase Us!

      I tried RPO last summer and didn’t make it very far, then had to return it to the library. I keep meaning to try it again. Maybe I will, later this summer.


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