I don't know about you, but I am ready for the weekend! (I bet you are, too). It has been crazy busy for me at work and I am ready for a little mindlessness and time to wind down. I have a few volunteer hours to work at my local art museum (I tear tickets at the exhibition entrance) and I hope to go see a movie, but otherwise my weekend is otherwise pretty empty, and I don't mind at all. Between my volunteer time and the holiday on Sunday, I don't think I will even get to go to the gym, which sort of bothers me but sort of doesn't either (I feel better when I work out and I also get to read at the same time, but I think I need a break from the gym as well). So that means a few long walks instead provided the rain holds off.
What I want and hope to do is get in a few long stretches of reading. My reading pile is pretty tall and I need to try and finish something soon. Perhaps Stay With Me or The Gustav Sonata? I am past the halfway mark on both books. I hope to take Do Not Say We Have Nothing to the museum as I can read during lulls. As it is a somewhat formidable hardcover copy I have not been taking it with me in my bookbag even though I have been enjoying reading it.
I was feeling like maybe doing a little 'summer reading in Italy project' as I have in the past (my mini summer themed readings-sometimes they are more successful than other times), but I find I have been drawn to books set in Asia, primarily Japan and as it is a part of the world I am not often in literature-wise, I might hop a virtual plane and spend the summer there. Aside from the Thien, which is partially set in China, I have also been reading the crime novel A Quiet Place by Seicho Matsumoto. A few days ago I stopped by the library to pick up a few holds and my eye was caught by a display of library staff recommendations. I ended up taking Tracy Slater's The Good Shufu home with me and I am finding it quite absorbing. She went to Japan to teach English to Japanese business students (salary-men) and ended up falling for one of her students (nothing strange there as they are about the same age). I always find these intercultural romances/friendships really fascinating and for some reason Japan has seemed so very exotic and unknown to me.
So now I am heading off on a path in that direction. I know I want to read more by Haruki Murakami and was looking at the books by him I own, but I would love to start a list of recommendations--fiction and nonfiction (memoirs very welcome). There is so much written about the country--recommendations are especially helpful to sort through all the reading possibilities.
I think I also need something really light and airy and escape-worthy, too, so I am sure I will spend more time with The Secret Life of Violet Grant which I have been flying through! I really like Beatriz Williams's writing and this is fun since it is set in part in 1960s NYC. This is a novel with parallel storylines with a bit of a mystery at the center and I really like the 'voice' of Vivian (the 1960s character) she has lots of moxie and I can totally see her in those pages.
After reading Teresa's comment about Ira Levin's A Kiss Before Dying it also sounds like a perfect weekend read, too. And as she suggests not knowing too much about it going into the story, I think it will work nicely since I had not gotten around to looking too closely at my copy.
Whatever your weekend plans I hope you have a good one, too. And I hope there will be some books and reading time included!