Ouch. Post vacation reading? Dare I even think that far ahead? Don't worry, I am still All About my vacation reading (am completely rethinking the books that are going with me . . . are you surprised?), but my computer time (otherwise known as I wanted to write about my progress with Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy) was completely eaten up with computer/internet woes, so I now I must change tack.
There's nothing wrong with thinking ahead, right? I had planned on returning all but a very few books to the library since I'll be away for a few days, but you know Murphy's Law. When I went to drop my books off there were more waiting for me. And then yesterday I brought home an additional three from the library where I work, so now I will have a healthy pile to look forward to coming home to.
Eve Harris's The Marrying of Chani Kaufman is a book which is posing a problem for me. I normally wouldn't think of taking a library book on vacation with me, but as this one happens to come from the library where I work, I am toying with the idea. It was longlisted for the Booker. I am intrigued by it and started reading it on the way home from work while on the bus. "Written with wisdom and humour, Eve Harris's liberating novel illuminates the conflict between traditional religion and the contemporary world." Those first pages, by the way, sucked me right in.
Swimming in the Moon by Pamela Schoenewaldt. I like the title. I like the setting: 1905, the Bay of Naples. I like the sound of an immigrant story and the idea of a transformation for the young heroine.
I am always in the mood for short stories, yet I seem to make my way so very slowly through them. Now I am too caught up with my ghost stories, but I am on the lookout for something new and different for when I finish with the Gorey. I have never read Joan Silber before, but she seems quite well regarded. I've got Fools: Stories to try now. "From New York to India to Paris, from the Catholic Worker movement to Occupy Wall Street, the characters in Joan Silber's dazzling new story cycle tackles this question (When is it wise to be a fool for something? What makes people want to be better than they are?) head-on."
New England. 1942. Multi-generation family drama. Love entanglements. What's not to love? Elizabeth Garver's The End of the Point sounds like a winner to me.
Must have at least one mystery in the mix. Mary Miley's The Impersonator is set in 1917 and is about a missing heiress. When her uncle thinks he spots her on the vaudeville stage he discovers he is mistaken. But then he hatches a plot to have the actress who so resembles her impersonate her. Set in Prohibition-era America. Right up my alley.
Marisa Silver's Mary Coin is another book with an interesting premise. You know the famous Dust-bowl photograph of the "Migrant Mother" taken by Dorothea Lange (a woman I really want to read about by the way--have her biography on hand)? Silver imagines not only her life but that of the photographer.
It's been ages since I have read any Dystopian fiction, which I strangely (though maybe not so very strangely really) really like. I swear I am going to plan a "season of Dystopian reading". Divided Kingdom by Rupert Thomson creates a United Kingdom which has been divided up by "temperament" of its citizens. I have a feeling this is one of those--almost far-fetched enough to be true sorts of stories.
Another good social history, this time about Georgian and Regency England with Roy and Lesley Adkins's Jane Austen's England. " . . . explores the customs and culture of the real England of her everyday existence depicted in her classic novels as well as those by Byron, Keats, and Shelley. Drawing upon a rich array of contemporary sources, including many previously unpublished manuscripts, diaries, and personal letters, Roy and Lesley Adkins vividly portray the daily lives of ordinary people, discussing topics as diverse as birth, marriage, religion, sexual practices, hygiene, highwaymen, and superstitions." I love these sorts of books. This one also has a very cool cover (not to be shallow or anything).
And another one by Rupert Thomson--Secrecy. This one sounds RIP-creepy set in the Italy of the de Medici's involving religious fervor and strange wax sculptures. It came recommended by Buried in Print and hopefully she'll be writing about it!
I've been having a lot of problems for the last few weeks with my internet and my internet provider has been unhelpful to say the least (dare I name names--they are a big company and that is obvious with the quality of service I have been receiving). It's been quite frustrating. This past week I've gone long periods without any sort of internet connection, which has ruined my plans of trying to catch up on serious bookishness. Now I will likely have to wait until I am back from vacation to get the problem resolved. All this to say that I will check in beore I leave, but otherwise posting will be irregular here.
And here I was feeling all warm and tingly talking about my new stash of library books when my internet went down (and my post had to be completed at a public computer in the library--another reason to be thankful for libraries). Still, am as usual spoiled for choice and have a lovely break (with a change of scenery) to look forward to in just a few days.