As the saying goes when it rains it pours. All it took was a little complaining on my part and the library fairy rustled up a few books that I've been in line for. I brought home three yesterday and I should have another two to pick up later in the week. I swear it always happens that way, doesn't it. All three have waiting lists, so I need to decide quickly which I am going to read.
Manil Suri's The Age of Shiva is the book of choice at the moment (though I do have a couple of other books I need to finish first). One of the blurbs on the book jacket is by author Kiran Desai and she says, "In The Age of Shiva India's birth as a new nation parallels a woman's complex psychological journey confronting tradition and modernity. Exchanging sentimentality for clear vision, Suri reveals an immense humanity and a tenderness for women making their way in a world of men. Drawn by this compelling narrative, I read this marvelous book in one sitting." It must be good if she read it in one sitting, as it's a hefty 450 pages! I don't think I'll be able to manage that, but hopefully three weeks will give me enough time.
I had actually already planned to read Arturo Perez-Reverte's The Painter of Battles next, but after reading Mike B.'s initial response I'm not so sure anymore. It sounds as though it is somewhat of a departure from his other novels--less literary thriller and more philosophical reflection. Of course I might end up being pleasantly surprised, so I'll still give it a try at least.
And I've finally gotten Pascal Mercier's Night Train to Lisbon. It's won all sorts of accolades in Europe, but the response has been more tepid on this side of the Atlantic. Isabel Allende called it a "treat for the mind, and one of the best books she'd read in a long time." We'll see what I can squeeze in.
I finished watching the first season of The Tudors. I'm almost glad to be done with it. What a nasty bunch of backstabbing, manipulative people. Even though I say I prefer historical novels over contemporary novels as reading about current events is too fresh, and I know how historical events have turned out--it was almost uncomfortable watching the show. That said season two is gearing up to start at the end of the next month, and I am contemplating watching the episodes via pay-per-view (since I don't subscribe to any movie channels). Otherwise I'll have to wait until next year to see what happens. Not that I don't already know how it all ends, but it's like watching a car crash--you really don't want to look, but you can't help yourself. Now I'm contemplating doing some Tudor reading as well.
I've started watching The Original Nancy Drew Mystery Movie Collection. These are hour long B&W movies that must have been made in the 1930s(?) starring the very perky Bonita Granville. It appears they are only loosely based on the Nancy Drew novels, but they are fun (and certainly wholesome compared to The Tudors!) entertainment.
I'm very happy to see that Imani is going to keep the Outmoded Authors blog going. Perhaps this will give me a better chance to actually get some outmoded authors read. I didn't get very far with D.H. Lawrence (through no fault of his own--just an overabundance of books on my part), and now I am going to try my hand at a novel by Dawn Powell. I've heard very good things about her, but I'm not sure how I am going to get on with The Wicked Pavilion. I'm not entirely sure it has a regular plotline or if it is more a series of vignettes. I am finding that I tend to be a very plot-driven reader, which I hate to admit to. I want to like all sorts of books, but I find I struggle with many of them. Someone please tell me I am going to love The Wicked Pavilion and to just keep going (I really haven't read very far, so I shouldn't be making any sorts of judgements yet). I hate starting a book and then setting it aside in favor of something in my comfort zone--I've done it a few times already this year and I don't want it to become a habit!