So it's been a while. I've been busy with work and more work, and I've been having a hard time concentrating on reading, much less on blogging. I did finish Véra, by Stacy Schiff, her biography of Véra Nabokov, and it was enjoyable and immersive. It's not a page-turner, but a detailed and interesting portrait of a woman and a marriage. It's great for Nabokov fans.
I also finished Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid, very of-the-moment and moving. And I treated myself to The Literary Conference, by César Aira, probably my favorite living writer at this point.
This week I'm reading Sarah Dunant's new Borgia book, In the Name of the Family, which is melodramatic, detailed and fun, a portrait of political machinations and court life during the early Italian Renaissance. It's a worthy followup to 2013's Blood and Beauty and I'd recommend it to fans of her work and historical fiction generally.
I'm still reading and will probably finish this week Oksana Marafioti's charismatic and enjoyable American Gypsy, about a Russian Roma teen growing up in 80s Los Angeles. It's colorful, funny, sad, moving and bittersweet all at once.
Finally, I started Ludmilla Petrushevskaya's wonderful memoir, The Girl from the Metropol Hotel, about growing up in Communist Russia. I love the picture of her on the cover. This is not a girl you mess with! And she grew up to be a searing and challenging writer of womens' lives.