Reading update, October 2015

This month I read a book that broke my heart and two that made me cry. I also decided that I needed to start keeping a few books on my bedside table to remind me to read them (currently, I’m aiming to always have 4 or 5 that I think I want to read next).

An Age of License: A Travelogue

I enjoy Lucy Knisley’s work and this was like a more refined version of her first book, French Milk. It follows her travels around Europe, including a love affair and some time spent with her mother and her mother’s friends. It’s interesting and lovely.

MaddAddam

This book broke my heart. It was a great story, but I was so sad about one of the death’s at the end. I plan to re-read the whole trilogy (a rare thing for me) because I read them several years apart and want to re-experience everything without the long pauses between books. I love the story and Atwood’s imagination.

All the Bright Places

This book was so sad. It starts with introducing us to a troubled but beautiful soul who seems almost unreal. I was in denial for the last several chapters because I could not believe that there wouldn’t be a happily ever after. It’s a good story that touches on many aspects of suicide: the victim, those left behind, the anger at people who are clueless to their contribution to the problem, etc. But, mostly, it’s a beautiful story of grief and love.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James

I started reading this on a whim. Edmonton Public Library is hosting a book club of sorts, One Book One Edmonton, and this is the book they’ve chosen. It was available online and I need a distraction from my broken heart (see MaddAddam). It was a nice story, so I read the next section when it became available. Then I decided that I couldn’t wait for the rest of the book, so I bought the book at lunch and finished it before bedtime. It’s a really lovely story, full of love and friendship and sadness. I love the way the author writes. There’s a quietness to her story that makes it feel real and honest. And, The ending, though sad, is beautiful.

Displacement: A Travelogue

Not my favourite of Knisley’s travelogues, but still interesting.

The Table of Less Valued Knights

A fun take on the knights of the round table and general stories about knights and damsels in distress. It’s got a bit of a feminist edge, with the woman being as useful as the men (though, perhaps not with swords, certainly with cunning and courage). It might not be laugh out loud funny, but I enjoyed it and it was a nice break after a couple sad novels.

Ru

I don’t really know what to say about this book because I haven’t had enough time to digest it, yet. It was beautiful, compelling and at times full of quiet anguish and heart ache. It’s about the author’s life, from wealth to communism to refugees to immigrants. If nothing else, it’s very interesting. If you’re on the fence about reading it, it’s fairly short and well written, so go for it.

Dodger

This is the first non-Discworld book I’ve read of Terry Pratchett’s. It’s not what you’d expect, if you are familiar with his Discworld books, as it seems to take itself a little more seriously and includes some real (and some fictitious) London folk. There are no magical coincidences that save the heroes, just lots of damned good luck and skill. But, it was loads of fun!

***

As always, I’m “working on” (read: haven’t touched) Silently and Very Fast.

I stopped reading Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. I got bored with it and I have too many other books that I want to read to waste my time on something that I’m bored with. Quitting the book prompted me to finally add a few new virtual shelves on Goodreads, including one for books that I stopped reading.

Even if you take into account the books I gave up one, I have completed my Goodreads reading challenge (to read 50 books). There were a few weeks in the summer when I thought I was doomed to fail, but I managed to get through quite a few books this month. I can’t wait to see how many I read by the end of the year.

I'm testing the practice of keeping a next-to-read pile on my bedside table instead of letting everything get lost on my shelf-of-forgotten-books. In the pile: my current read (top); one I bought months ago; one that was an unplanned purchase but highly r

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