Monday, August 10, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I finished The Expedition to the Baobab Tree, by Wilma Stockenstrom, and it was OK. I read it because it's South African literature, and translated by J.M. Coetzee, so it sounded like two treats for the price of one. I think I knew going in that it wasn't going to be exactly my kind of thing- very voice-driven, as opposed to plot-oriented, and while I did enjoy it and had no trouble following it, I didn't love it. An exploration of freedom and slavery, focusing on a woman who lived her life as a slave and is suddenly freed only to impose another kind of imprisonment on herself,  it was worth reading.
As I said in my last post, what I'm reading next is Amitav Ghosh's Flood of Fire, out now and the third book in his Ibis Trilogy. The Ibis Trilogy is a big, expansive historical fiction series about the Opium Wars and set in China, India and all over Asia at a tumultuous time. The books feel vast and intimate at the same time, written in a jaunty style that mixes in a tremendous amount of specialized dialect and still sounds as familiar as your own hometown. I'm only a few pages into Flood of Fire and I'm loving it. If you read Sea of Poppies and its sequel River of Smoke (and if you haven't, well, I have your reading picked out for the rest of 2015 because you need to, right now), you know that Poppies ended on a riveting cliffhanger that Smoke totally ignored. Now Ghosh picks up the thread, but not in the way I expected. I wish I could spend all day on this.

What are you reading today?