Monday, January 15, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

We're back!

The first half of January has been fun and productive vis-a-vis reading. I finished my first graphic book of the year, Emmanuel Guibert's Alan's War: The Memories of G.I. Alan Cope. This was a quiet and introspective memoir of one man's experience of World War 2. I can't say it riveted me but someone interested in the subject might find it illuminating. Guibert's art is wonderful and evocative.

I also read Hadriana in All My Dreams, by René Depestre, a Haitian novel about zombies and one woman who dies on her wedding day and is reincarnated. Or something else? It's luminous and strange and unforgettable.

And I finished Secondhand Time, by Svetlana Alexeivich, an engrossing but extremely depressing collection of first-person narratives as ordinary ex-Soviets compare their Soviet lives to their post-Soviet lives.

As for what I'm reading now, I have several things going as usual.

A.S. Byatt's wonderful Babel Tower is the main thing. It's book three in her four part series about the character Frederica Potter; I read the first two, The Virgin in the Garden and Still Life, back in college, and I've been able to immerse myself right back into the story with no problems at all. I'm loving reading such a richly drawn and beautifully told story. Her books are so good. Like Margaret Atwood without the emotional trauma.

On my nightstand is Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries, a Booker winner from a few years ago, a complicated and also richly drawn story about murder and gold prospecting in 1800s New Zealand. Also on the nightstand I'm starting The Beats: A Graphic History, by Harvey Pekar.

On audio I'm listening to Samantha Irby's delightful We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. She's acerbic and bitter, funny and human, miserable and wonderful all at once.

And at the gym I'm finishing up Souad Mekhennet's also very depressing I Was Told to Come Alone, about reporting on jihadis around the world.

That's it for me. What about you? I'd love to know what you're into this week!

1 comment:

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

What a wondrous strange mix of reading you have going on! I really want to move the Samantha Irby up to the top of my audio book list.

Right now I'm working my through a couple of ARCs, including John Edgar Wideman's new story collection coming in March.