I have not posted on my book blog in the week since my last Friday Reads post. I am a little worried I will phase it out all together between my cross-posting here and my goodreads reviews. Ah well.
Let us not talk about Anna Karenina. I have made a little progress. But it is the kind of book where you forget that it is good when you’re not reading it. Everything else always looks more interesting. I am trying to get some motivation back.
I finished A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, which I wrote about last week. I liked it much more than I expected. Although when you write each chapter about a different character you inevitably have chapters you dislike and chapters you adore so it was a tad uneven. But I feel very safe recommending it. It is hard to describe. It all kind of orbits around people in the music business in one way or another, from a teenage punk rock kid to a record executive to a down-on-his-luck guitar player.
My plan for this week was to get some good backup reading so nothing would distract me from my main book (which shall not be named) but it is failing spectacularly. My backup books are too enticing. I have a P.D. James novel, as mysteries are my fluff reading of choice. Even more tempting are graphic novels, which I’ve been enjoying lately.
I started the Powers series a while ago based solely on the fact that Brian Michael Bendis is involved. I am not an uber-comic geek, but I did love The Astonishing Adventures of Fan Boy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga where the main character is obsessed with all things Bendis. (One of my favorite YA novels of all time, which OMG I learned while getting the link that there is now a sequel!! And I’ve missed it!! I must rectify this immediately. Okay, on hold at the library. Sweet. Now let’s get back to it.) I am really enjoying Powers which has enough geek cred to be a serious comic but is right up my crime-fiction alley. I am 5 volumes in and glad I have plenty more. I’m also getting started with Fables, after many recommendations. Graphic novels have been a great, quick way to break up my heavier reading. I always love getting good tips if there are any you really love. (If you find the idea of graphic novels too fanboy-ish I recommend starting with one I loved, Gemma Bovery by Posy Simmonds, which is all pencil drawings and made for literature lovers. I’m also curious about her Tamara Drewe based on Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy. I am such a sucker for Hardy.)
The real news, though, is that I bought books today! I don’t buy books often. Before we moved last time, Eric and I went to town cleaning out our bookshelves. Eric has gone almost completely electronic. And I needed to clear out the clutter that I don’t read and save the real cream of the crop. We are down to two bookshelves for both of us, and for two big readers that isn’t much space. Especially given the way we live now. Behold the current state of our bookshelves:
You may notice that the books on the bottom two shelves are all askew. And the top shelves are covered in random detritus. This is all easily explained by the fact that the Bug messes with the books on the bottom and we use the upper shelves to keep things away from him. (When I titled this blog Don’t Mind the Mess, I did it for a reason. Even our bookshelves are kind of a mess. Thank you for not minding.)
Anyway, a book must be pretty high on the priority list to merit a prime spot on the shelf. And it must be cheap, as that is how our life works right now. So thanks to my local independent bookstore’s awesome bargain shelves, I bought home two books for me.
I’ve been wanting a copy of Lush Life for ages and have almost bought it several times when I’ve had gift cards to use. I believe he recently lost out to The Little Stranger and When Will There Be Good News?, to round out my Sarah Waters and Kate Atkinson collections, respectively. My Richard Price collection is not so much a collection anymore, now that I no longer have Freedomland and since I never bought Samaritan. But at least now Clockers will have some company. It is not quite the pretty pretty paperback, but it was cheap and it kind of matches Price’s vibe better, I think. I feel a little bad for Richard Price that I haven’t made him a higher priority. I am probably more attached to him than I am to Kate Atkinson, though he is probably below Sarah Waters, who is perhaps my favorite author. (I am hesitant to make such declarations, but I am struggling to think of anyone I’d prefer.)
The Reluctant Fundamentalist is one I super super loved, it was way up high on my Best Books of 2007 list. My list of post-9/11 books I like is very very short. This is by far the best one I’ve read.
Both are worthy additions to the shelf, I’ll be sure to keep them out of the Bug’s reach.
And not to overlook the Bug I did get him his own new book. He is not much for books or reading, but he seems to enjoy turning pages and this looked right up his alley. It has a little puppet.
(This is the part where I am proud of myself for not getting all angry at the baby books that were labeled “For Smart Babies” 6-12 months and still way beyond my Bug. I know it is just marketing, playing to proud parents. It still hurts me, though. But I know I am still in very sensitive waters so I did not get mad or burst into tears or send the publishers a nasty email. Go me.)
So tell me what you’re reading! And don’t forget the #fridayreads hashtag on Twitter.