My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.
Absolutely gorgeous weather this weekend, finally, so I was able to get back into my regular walking routine — and it feels great! I loved seeing this spot of color along the way.
And since I had an audiobook playing in my ears each time I walked, I was motivated to keep going much further than my usual route, and spent some extra time just sitting and gazing out at the ocean.
What did I read last week?
It’s weird to realize that despite being VERY INTO my reading this week, I didn’t write a single book review. So it goes.
Here’s what I read:
The Book Collector by Alice Thompson: I expected to love this short novel… but didn’t. There’s some interesting writing in The Book Collector, but overall I’d say it reads like someone put Rebecca and Silence of the Lambs in a blender… but maybe left out some key ingredients in order to make a truly delicious
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy: Okay, here’s a funny story. I decided to start another classic via Serial Reader, and picked this Thomas Hardy novel, which I’d always meant to read. With Serial Reader, you read classics in daily installment of 10 – 15 minutes… so I started, and then I couldn’t stop! Instead of reading it in bite-size chunks over 51 days, I read all 51 pieces* in about 3 days. I really didn’t expect to find FFTMC an “un-put-down-able” read, but it absolutely was. I loved it, plain and simple.
*Weird little follow-up: I went back to my Kindle edition of this book to check on a small detail, and realized that somehow I skipped chapters 47 and 48 in my mad adventure with Serial Reader. It was probably me clicking ahead too fast, rather than a problem with the app**, but suddenly a certain story development makes a whole lot more sense. D’oh.
**Nope, it was definitely the app. I checked and double-checked. Those chapters aren’t there. The story mostly made sense without them, or I might have noticed sooner that they were missing, but still. Aaaargh.
And my DNF of the year award goes to…
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: I tried. I really tried. I read about half of this book 20 years ago and never finished. When my book group picked it for our classic read, I thought it sounded like a great way for me to finally force myself to go back to a book I DNF’d so long ago. And the end result is a big NOPE for me. I got past the halfway mark this time around, but I was having zero fun. Call me crazy or lacking an appreciation of finer literature. I have read at least two other books by this author and loved them — but One Hundred Years of Solitude felt like chewing off my own limb. I think we can safely say that this is a book I will never finish.
Pop culture goodness:
My viewing obsession this week was Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I watched the three episodes so far available, and can’t wait for more!
Quite a library haul this week: I came home with one DVD set, six graphic novels (from two different series), and two novels. Do I have time to read all of these? Maybe. But I’m excited to at least have the possibility.
What will I be reading during the coming week?
Currently in my hands:
Despite all those library books, I’m first dedicating myself to finishing up two books already started:
- The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Now playing via audiobook:
I’m at about 30% of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, and it’s fascinating… but I’m going to take a teensy Hamil-break so I can listen to…
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel: I read the book when it came out (review), but needed a refresher before starting the sequel, so I borrowed the audiobook from the library. So far, I’m loving it! The audiobook format fits really well with the transcript-style presentation of the story, and the multiple narrators (something I usually find annoying in audiobooks) is actually quite good in this case.
And once I finish, it’ll be back to more Hamiltonian history!
The end (of the book) is nigh! After over a year of reading and discussing Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon — 2 chapters per week — we’re within sight of the final chapters.
And in serial reading… I just started a new book via Serial Reader: The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. This one is a lot shorter than some of the others I’ve read via the app (just 14 installments), so it won’t take me too long. Meanwhile, I’m going to try to stick to reading just one installment per day, rather than reading ahead as I did with FFTMC.
So many books, so little time…