Currently Reading

Since I have no prospect to finish a book very soon (I’m still trying), I thought I’d mention those volumes that are lying around on my nightstand and close to the breastfeeding pillow:

  • Benjamin Black, Christina Falls: I can’t begin to say how good this is. I enjoy every single beautifully-crafted sentence. If I’d time, I would copy some bits here (maybe if a future baby nap allows it). I’ve actually slowed down on this one so that it would last longer!
  • Ethan Canin, The Emperor Thief: I’ve mooched it on hearsay, and I’m enthusiastic about this discovery. These are actually novellas more than short stories. I’ve really enjoyed the first one, The Accountant and if it takes me ages to finish the rest I might post on that story only.
  • Elizabeth Taylor, Wreath of Roses: somehow my interest for the 3 female friends who experience loneliness and depression (IMO) has cooled down since the baby’s arrival. I wait for something to happen, but it’s very slow-moving and not quite adapted to my current need and mood.
  • Virginia Quarterly Summer Issue: I’ve read the short story Tale of the Teahouse by Kanishk Tharoor and I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I think I’ve missed a lot of deep meaning. It looks like a mythological, sad tale from the 1001 Nights or some other Asian country. It’s available online if you want to take a look!
  • Agatha Christie, Death in the Clouds (aka Death in the Air): in audio-book, a classic closed-room mystery, except that it takes place on board a plane. It takes a lot of concentration to listen to the plot during the baby’s feedings because there are so many characters… I definitely have no energy to second-guess Hercule Poirot on that investigation.

Obviously, I won’t make any post on ‘Fess Up Friday Challenge anymore, but I hope that once Baby Smithereens will be sleeping full nights I might be able to write a little on the margins…

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8 thoughts on “Currently Reading

  1. The only bit about “Tale of the Teahouse” that you may be missing is that the city that was sacked was Baghdad. I recommend reading the rest of the story, the tale of the sack itself. Hulagu Khan’s men were remorseless. The waters of the Tigris ran black with the ink of the books of the Grand Library of Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Every major structure was demolished. It took centuries for the city to begin anew, but mere weeks to destroy one of the world’s oldest, grandest cultures.

  2. Audio books for breastfeeding! Of course! What a good idea! You have released me from the tyranny of daytime TV or knocking over my tea as I try to juggle a baby and a book at the same time! Thank you!

  3. Writing on the margins is an excellent idea! I remember reading books to our kids (when they were wee) that I wanted to read. They were happy with the sound of my voice and it didn’t matter and no, never read them any junk/romance stuff. The trouble is, now they think they’ve read a lot of classics that they should indeed read through again! (it’s kind of a family joke. They couldn’t possibly remember them HUCK FINN and GULLIVER’s TRAVELS…could they?

  4. I agree about Benjamin Black (a.k.a. genius Irish writer John Banville). What I love is that he decided to write mysteries at all. His literariness definitely shines through, and he proves that mysteries can be literature also.

    Another case in point: Literary novelist Diana Abu-Jaber (CRESCENT, which is beautiful) also recently turned to mysteries. I suggest looking into her latest two novels.

  5. Waldo, thanks for the note! It really shed a new light on the story. I feel slightly ashamed not to have picked this up, but it wasn’t written anywhere in the story was it? (I’m not clear-headed enough these days to understand subtle hints) Anyway, even if it was an imaginary country the story is still quite enjoyable.

    Solnushka, audio-books are great as long as you have a remote control because you need to pause often!

    Oh, I’m sure your kids remember something deep in their inconscious of all these classics 😉 at least I hope so, as I read Canin’s short stories aloud to Baby S!

    Dorothy, I didn’t know there was a sequel, I need to get it!!

    Lisa, I too was uncomfortable that mysteries should be a second-rate literature. No Abu-Jaber at our library but will continue to check her out.

    Verbivore, glad you enjoy Canin. What did you read? I’ll post on it as soon as finished.

  6. You’re not alone—I didn’t pick that up when it was first submitted to us! I found the story very interesting, especially all of the mentions of the foreign lands and the surrounding rivers, and only after I passed it up to my editor, recommending it for publication, did I put the pieces of the puzzle together. Which, of course, only made it seem better in retrospect.

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