Monday, February 23, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Well, I pulled myself out my slump and started or started and finished a few things. I really have to thank the New York City subway system and our outer Queens location for giving me so much time to read. This past week I read All Days Are Night, a moody novel about a woman disfigured in a car accident that kills her boyfriend, by Peter Stamm, and finished The Infinite Wait, a book of graphic short stories by the always-enjoyable Julia Wertz, and Between Two Seas, which ended up being really good. I also finally finished Sonechka, short stories by Ludmila Ulitskaya, which was uneven for me but she's one of my favorites, so that's OK. She's got a new one coming out in English in the fall and I plan to drop whatever else I'm doing just as soon as I can get a copy (which should be earlier because the publicist has been promising me a copy since early last year).

My friend Jeanne who writes the great blog Necromancy Never Pays was in NYC a few weeks ago and when we met up for a walk around the Strand bookstore and lunch at Japanese ramen place Ippudo, she recommended The French Lieutenant's Woman, so I started that book this week. In some ways it's a very "me" book- mannered and literary, Victorian in temperament- and I'm trying to like it but something feels a little off. No matter. I'll keep pushing through.

I'm also reading Blood Brothers, by Ernst Haffner, originally published in German in 1932 and subsequently banned by Hitler. It's being republished in English by Other Press in March. One of my pals at Other Press gave it to me for my birthday and it was really the perfect gift. It tells the story of a group of young men living on the margins of Weimar society, kind of a pre-Beat generation of disaffected youth involved in drugs, crime and anarchy. It's fun, and lively reading.

That's about it for me this week. What are you reading? See more at BookJourney.wordpress.com.

4 comments:

Barbara Bartels said...

In my day, John Fowles was my favorite writer -- along with Elmore Leonard. I keep thinking I should go back and read him to revisit my younger self and her tastes but I haven't done it yet. As I remember French Lieutenant's Woman was quite a breakthrough in form at the time -- though would hardly seem so today. I loved The Magus -- which I believe came out in two different forms. Fowles changed and updated it I think.

Megan said...

I so missing in a place where I could commute using public transportation. I had much more reading time when there was a subway ride in my day instead of a 30 minute one way drive. :-(

Good to hear you pulled yourself out of the slump and had a week of good reading. Hope it keeps up!

Laurie C said...

I can't believe how long I've been reading The Luminaries, but I still am! I keep having to read other books for book clubs, reviews, etc. in between, and need to have at least an hour at a time that's not right before bed to devote to The Luminaries. Am also reading The Magician's Lie, a new book from the library. (I keep forgetting you're in NY, now, despite the blog name!)

Jeanne said...

I tried to leave an earlier comment, but I guess I was still too weakened by the strength of the NYC virus that laid me low as soon as I got home, or something. I was chiming in with Barbara about The Magus--that's actually my favorite one. Yes, he did update it. I read and loved the more ambiguous early version as a college student in 1982.