Monday, December 30, 2013

December reading roundup, bye-bye 2013

 Chatty Cathy back once again to recap the month. Actually it's two months; life has been hectic and full here at casa mia so  it's been tough breaking away for a few moments of book journaling time. Actually, hectic isn't the word -- more like just plain crazy.  And it's not over yet.

So here we go:
November and December were set aside for fiction that had something to do with cults -- not cult fiction, which is always fun, but fictional cults.

I started out with Messiah, by Gore Vidal,  followed by Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk.   Next up came The Origin of the Brunists, by Robert Coover, which I absolutely loved; there's so much craziness in this book that the 400+ pages went by quickly. There's a sequel being released in March and it's killing me to wait.  The final entry in this list, although I'm currently reading Jeannette Turner Hospital's excellent Oyster,  is Dashiell Hammett's The Dain Curse, written 85 years ago.  Scoff if you will -- it's still a great book.  In fact, all of these novels are older -- checking out this category in what's current led nowhere except to YA novels which I just don't do.  I had also planned to read The Possibility of an Island, by Michel Houellebecq, and Patricia Duncker's The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge, but didn't quite get there, so they'll be thrown into the January mix.

The rest of the books over the last two months are

At Night We Walk in Circles, by Daniel Alarcon
Bellman and Black, by Diane Setterfield
The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton (not yet discussed; coming soon)
Crusoe's Daughter, by Jane Gardam (not yet discussed; coming soon)

Borderfield Blues, by Corey Lynn Fayman
The Restless Engineer, by Jac Wright
The Fire Dance, by Helene Tursten (out in January, but thanks to Soho I had an ARC)

The Girls of Atomic City, by Denise Kiernan
Thank You For Your Service, by David Finkel, which I must say is the best book I've read all year

weird fiction/horror/fantasy/sci-fi
The Ghost Hunters, by Neil Spring, which is really historical fiction, but does mess around with a famously-haunted house

Now, the usual book stuff:

1) Books I'm giving away this month -- for US readers only.    --  I need to regroup since I haven't had much time to organize; so I'll table this one for later.

 2) Added to the  wishlist this last two months: 

 crime fiction:
nothing here, actually
 general fiction/literature:
Nemesis, by Philip Roth
 The Search for Klingsor, by Jorge Volpi
Of Human Bondage, by Somerset Maughan
the weird, the strange, supernatural etc:
nothing here

The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince, by Jane Ridley

3) Books bought these last two months:

  • Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, by Terry Teachout (nonfiction/biography)
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Daniel James Brown (nonfiction/history)
  • Thank You For Your Service, by David Finkel (nonfiction)
  • Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer by Cyrus Mistry (fiction/literature)
  •  The Flamethrowers, by Rachel Kushner (fiction/literature)
  • The Crooked Maid, by Dan Vyleta (fiction/literature)
  • It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis (fiction/literature)

4The book group read Crusoe's Daughter, by Jane Gardam mid-December. Except for one person who read it the day prior to the group meeting, we all loved this book; two members of the group went on to read Gardam's Old Filth on their own because they love Gardam's writing so very much.

5) Currently reading Oyster, by Jeannette Turner Hospital and The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown.

That's it, along with a fond farewell to 2013 -- it was a good but crazy year.  To all, a peaceful new year, filled with health, love and happiness.  And of course, a giant stack of books to get you through the year. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Say what you will, but at least try to be nice about it.