If you're planning on joining in on Simon and Harriet's Muriel Spark Reading Week next month (April 23-29 to be exact), and you like reading ebooks, you'll be pleased to note that Open Road Integrated Media has just released eight of Spark's works in ebook format. Spark has a fairly extensive list of published works, though I'm not sure whether they're all still in print now or not. I've read several of her books, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (twice), but there are a few titles on their list that I am not familiar with which they are probably making available to readers once again.
I'm especially intrigued by The Hothouse by the East River, which is "is a delirious satire of superficial urban life in the shadow of one of modern history’s great horrors." I'm also leaning towards Territorial Rights, which sounds like something of a romp, "a celebration of human imperfection and complexity, with as many shifting identities, wardrobe changes, and sumptuous settings as a comic opera." I'm really looking forward to getting back to Spark's work and suspect I'll be loading a few of these onto my Nook (happily they offer ebooks from a variety of vendors in different formats) in anticipation of the readalong. I've yet to decide which novel, or novels as the case may be, that I'll read, but now it seem as though there will be more choice than ever.
I'm marking my calendar for a couple of other group reads that are happening in the next couple of months as they fit in so well with my reading plans and current reading mood. There was a time when I read every book by Tracy Chavalier as soon as it came out. I've missed the last few novels by her, though they are of course on my reading pile. Her most recent, Remarkable Creatures, will be one I hope to read along with Caroline and Emma in April--discussion on the 26th (you can find more information about it here). It's one I just needed a good excuse to pick up, and here comes my excuse. In May Liburauk is hosting a readalong of Alice Walker's The Color Purple, a novel I read many, many years ago when I was in college. I was recently reminded that it is written in diary format, so it would be a perfect companion read for my diary project (it didn't start out as a project, but it seems it has become one, and I like the idea of it).
And yes, one more. Buried in Print and I are going to read Girl Reading by Katie Ward in tandem . . . very soon now. I've got my copy on my night table and am itching to crack open the book. "Seven portraits. Seven artists. Seven girls and women reading." I love books that combine literature and art in the stories, and this seems the perfect sort of story for me.
Can you tell I really enjoy readalongs? I often end up with more on my reading plate than I can manage, but I can't help myself and try to manage as well as I can. It's a great way to expand my reading horizons and I always learn more about the book (and sometimes myself) by hearing what another reader thinks of a book. Also the camaraderie of reading together and usually the variety of readers makes for an enjoyable experience. It also usually gives me a good excuse to pick up a book (see Remarkable Creatures).
I am happily veryvery close to finishing about three books at the moment and making good progress on a couple of others, which I will share more about soon, of course. More happily I am taking a couple of vacation days to make a nice long weekend, in which I hope to catch up on blog reading (very sorry I have been mostly absent online of late--I hope to remedy the situation soon. I can always tell when I've fallen totally behind as I get fewer visitors here as well, as though I've fallen through a crack or something, which I guess I sort of have) and finish those books!