Monday, March 7, 2016

My Reading is Booming

I won't reveal the reason why--I have already strained credulity as to why this winter has been a time for retreating from the world and reading prolificly. Now, yes, once again, the two humans in our household were felled by a mutual frailty last week that demanded, most imperiously, that we resort to BOOKS rather than the exertions of WORK. Now, as I write this blog entry, I can step back and see the silver lining of this suffering by shared bronchittises, I really do.

Next I must write my Classics  Club review of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, a book I devoured last week. I fully appreciated the insights that this book gave me about its author, her background, her subsequent novel To Kill a Mockingbird, and about her life after In Cold Blood.

I treasured Girl through Glass by Sari Wilson, appreciated and enjoyed tremendously. 4.75 stars! I discussed this one a bit in a previous post. If the plot line intrigues you, don't miss it. An unusually well-crafted and mature debut novel, I must say.

Sarah at Crimepieces got me hooked on reading Wilkie Collins's The Haunted Hotel last week, which was an excellent change of pace and genre from my other reading. I must confess that I've never been able to get through Collins's classic novels The Moonstone or A Woman in White. My failing completely--Each time I've tried to read them, I simply cannot stay awake no matter how hard I try. I don't know what's wrong with me, really, but I think it's because I thrive on highly developed characterizations and complex inter-relationships to keep me going in a detective or mystery novel. Not Wilkie's fault. I'm so thrilled that I was able to make it all the way through this ghost novella. It has its gruesome moments, but they're more interesting than repulsive, and overall I think the story's well done and worth reading, especially if you want a shorter Wilkie Collins novel.

Next, my first Tessa Hadley novel. I chose to read The Past first, her novel most recently available in the U.S. I feel compelled to continue reading--I'm two-thirds of the way through now--but I do wonder how other readers have felt about this one. The incredibly difficult sibling relationships and Hadley's characterizations are disturbing. I will share my comments later. I'm compelled to keep turning the pages.

And last, I felt I needed something completely different. I recalled that in 2008 I'd started the Chinese-born American author Ha Jin's Free Life (incredibly ironic title about Chinese immigrants in the U.S. in the 1980s), had liked it, but before page 100, had had to return it to the library. No more! I'm loving it, it's on my Nook, and no returns will interrupt it.

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