Monday, October 21, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

 Well I had a long week and things are finally starting to settle down after getting home, getting over jetlag, getting sick and getting better. I've even stacked up my books and put them in a pile near my bookshelf, so that's progress, right?

I finished As Music and Splendour last week, and loved it, but since then I've been a little at loose ends. I picked up The Art of Joy, the Italian tome I started before my trip, and have been reading it a little each day. I'm still enjoying it and I plan to finish but it's long. Meanwhile Donna Tartt's new book is out tomorrow and my customers have been clamoring, so I feel like I need to read that for them so we can talk about it, but it's also long. So we'll see.

As a treat to myself I started reading Ludmila Ulitskaya's Daniel Stein, Interpreter, her latest book (it came out in paperback last spring) about a Polish Jew who works as an interpreter for the Gestapo during World War 2 and ends up becoming a monk, then moving to Israel. It's his life story told through a winding trail of letters covering a lot of space and time. The characters include an upper-class Boston lady, an Polish-American in search of her roots, her mercurial mother and Daniel/Dieter himself. Ulitskaya is such a solid writer, and I've enjoyed her books so much in the past. So far, so good!

I also started Jonathan Grimwood's The Last Banquet, about an impoverished French aristocrat with a taste for the culinary arts, and his journey through the Revolution. It's the first hardcover published by Europa Editions and if you like historical fiction I recommend it so far. If you liked Andrew Miller's Pure, one of my favorites of recent years, this a natural next book for you. Grimwood is doing an event at my bookstore this week and I look forward to meeting him!

What are you reading this week? See more at