TSS: What I’ve Been Reading

sunsalon1I thought I might try to pick this up again. Hopefully one or two people are still dropping by, but no matter. I missed writing here, so I might as well give it a go. I can’t believe it’s been six months. The main thing that kept me away: I got a job! Very good for the bank account, not as good for the reading. Oh well. I’m hoping I can get back up to speed by writing reviews and so on…

I pretty much dropped the ball on all my challenges. Perhaps I am too whimsical to follow a plan. Even though I’ve managed some of the books on my lists, mostly I’ve just drifted hither and yon, reading what I want when I want.

But I have been reading. Looky here:

May
Nick Hornby – The Polysyllabic Spree (completed)
Laura Lippman – Life Sentences (completed)
Ali Smith – The Accidental (completed)*
Mark Bittman – Food Matters (completed)
Charles Baxter – The Soul Thief (completed)
Elizabeth Strout – Olive Kitteredge (completed)**
Zoe Heller – The Believers (completed)
Richard Yates – The Easter Parade (completed)
Sarah Waters – Fingersmith (completed)**

June
Elizabeth Strout – Amy and Isabelle (completed)
Andrea Barrett – Servants of the Map (completed)
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (completed)
Marcus Zusak – The Book Thief (completed)

July
Andrew Taylor – Bleeding Heart Square (completed)
Julie Powell – Julie and Julia (1/2 completed)
Laurie R. King – The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (completed)**

August
Lewis Wallant – The Tenants of Moonbloom (1/2 completed)
Tana French – The Likeness (completed)*
Sarah Waters – The Little Stranger (completed)
Colum McCann – Let the Great World Spin (completed)
Don Kurtz – South of the Big Four (re-read; completed)

September
Lorrie Moore – The Gate at the Stairs (completed)
Robert Goolrick – A Reliable Wife (completed)*
Eric Weiner – The Geography of Bliss (completed)

I hope to review at least a few of these for you, but I’ll give you the quick rundown.

Favorites
Hands down, Fingersmith was my favorite of all the books I’ve read since May. Pretty much everybody has reviewed this book so I won’t bother–I’ll just say I loved it and leave it at that. Although I very much enjoyed The Little Stranger, it just didn’t have the spark that Fingersmith had. I have The Night Watch on my TBR pile. I think Sarah Waters is an author everyone should read.

Other favorites? Tana French’s The Likeness was another great read, and as some reviews have noted very much in the vein of one of my favorite books, The Secret History. I like the questions of identity, group as identity, and what, really, makes a family. It’s not a perfect book, but it’s wholly entertaining and absorbing. I also loved The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, more than I expected to, even. I expected more of a mystery, but it was truly a coming-of-age story, I think. I look forward to reading another book in that series. Olive Kitteredge was amazing, as was The Accidental. I also very much enjoyed Let the Great World Spin, which I got from Library Thing. And finally, A Reliable Wife, by Robert Goolrick, was another great read. I’ll try to post reviews for some of these, just to share more thoughts.

Disappointments
In a nutshell, the biggest disappointments for me were The Soul Thief, by Charles Baxter, and The Gate at the Stairs, by Lorrie Moore. That last one pains me especially, because Lorrie Moore is one of my favorite writers. I hope to post a review to explain more in depth why I was disappointed, and I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on that one.

Right now I’m reading The Poisonwood Bible, and after that I’ll move on to Three Cups of Tea and The Hunger Games. And who knows, maybe I’ll still make it through one of those challenges. The year isn’t over yet!

Happy Sunday!

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12 comments

  1. I was really happy to see your blog name light up in my reader I was just thinking about you the other day! Sounds like you’ve had some good reading…I enjoyed A Reliable Wife as well.

  2. I read so much more when I am not working! Should be a special law for readers, allowing us to read several hours during the work day. I’m sure it would help the economy.

  3. Wow! I’m so happy to see you back! You’ve done some really good reading while you were away from the blogosphere – I’m just happy to know it was because you were busy with a new job! 🙂 This reminds me that I really have to read something by Sarah Waters. Ha! Too many books…

  4. Amy, thanks for keeping the blog in your reader for so long! I hope to post about A Reliable Wife soon. I am glad you enjoyed it, too!

    Debnance, you speak the truth.

    Kay, thanks! I have been covering some good ground, as much as possible. And yes, you must read Sarah Waters soon. I had heard so much about Fingersmith that I moved it to the top of my TBR list, a move I will never regret!

  5. Sounds like you’ve gotten some good reading in! I think if I stopped blogging for six months I’d get a lot more books read — but I’d miss it.

    I am about to abandon Julie and Julia too.

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog! You’ve read some great books and I can’t wait to see what you think of “The Poisonwood Bible”.

  7. Rebecca, you would definitely miss it, after a time. Trust me–here I am again! On Julie and Julia, I just wanted it to be something else entirely. I loved My Life in France so much, though, and I want to see Meryl Streep’s performance, so I’ll definitely see the movie.

    Gavin, it had been too long! I’m definitely enjoying The Poisonwood Bible so far…and it’s even a challenge book, so I won’t feel completely lame when it’s all said and done.

  8. Hi Priscilla! I’m also glad to see you’re back to blogging, I hope you continue the trend! 🙂

    I’m going to be reading The Likeness in the next few weeks, as I just finished In the Woods a couple of weeks ago. I’m thinking I’ll love it, so it was nice to see that you enjoyed it as much as you did!

  9. It’s SO NICE to see you posting again, Priscilla! I’ve missed you! And congratulations on the job! I just got one myself too, and I’m already struggling to handle reading, blogging, commenting, and, well, sleeping :S But we’ll see how it goes. I’m also really glad you loved Fingersmith 😀 It’s also one of my favourite reads of the year so far.

  10. Heather, as much as I enjoyed In the Woods, I enjoyed The Likeness that much more–but it’s a different kind of book, really. She does a great job of developing her characters, I think. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

    Nymeth, congratulations on the job! Somehow I believe you will do a much better job of coordinating everything than I did. 🙂 Now that I am in a groove, it’s good to be back.

  11. Priscilla.. still here! 😀

    I completely understand why you would stop blogging. I had gotten a job recently too and it’s led to less posts and more stress. Often I think of throwing in the towel with blogging as well. But maybe when I slow down after the challenges this year that I’ll enjoy blogging more again next year. So glad to see you back!!

  12. Claire, I wish that I had kept it going, at the very least a few times a week to keep in touch with everyone. That’s why I had to come back…and how lucky I feel that so many blogging friends are still here! I know you would definitely be missed if you stopped. And having fewer challenges will help. At least you didn’t abandon them the way I did. *hangs head in shame*

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