What I just finished reading
Our book club choice for this month is Trust by Hernan Diaz and for once I am not reading the final pages just minutes before our meeting on Sunday.
Diaz’s second novel earned him the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, was longlisted for the Booker Prize and became a New York Times bestseller so I started the book expecting to be wowed. It’s structured as four narratives, each telling a different versions of the story of a Wall Street businessman and his wife in the years leading up to the Great Depression. Skilfully conceived but oh boy was it dull.
Last night I abandoned one of the books on the Booker longlist for 2023 — Sebastian Barry’s Old God’s Time. The opening chapters introduced a retired policeman living a quiet, isolated life on a wild stretch of the Irish coastline. His solitude is interrupted by two young detectives who want his help with a decades-old case, a request that stirs up old memories of a past strewn with suffering and losses.
I’m not in the right frame of mind to read another novel about child abuse. Nor am I up to the stream of consciousness style at the moment so back to the library it shall go tomorrow.
What I’m reading now
I’ve now switched to one of the books that resulted from my TBR jar experiment — Nada by Carmen Laforet. It has a promising start with the arrival of an 18-year-old orphan in Barcelona where she is about to take up a scholarship at the university. She is to stay with her grandmother and assorted relatives (all of whom seem odd) in a cluttered, crumbling apartment. It’s early days yet but the beginning is promising.
What I’ll read next
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was “10 Books on My Fall TBR”, a task I embarked on with enthusiasm. I love making reading lists. But if you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that it’s a rare day when I make a reading plan and manage to stick to it. So I abandoned the effort half way even it was shaping up nicely as a list not of specific books but countries I wanted to “visit” in the next few months.
I’d got as far as:
Australia: i was thinking to mark Australia Reading Month, hosted by Brona, in October with The Newspaper of Claremont Street by Elizabeth Jolley or something by Richard Flanagan
Canada: It will be the 1962 club in October so this could be my prompt to finally get around to reading Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.
France: I’m long overdue a return to. the Rougon Macquet series by Emile Zola. Next in the sequence is The Sin of Abbe Mouret though I’ve seen other readers comment that it’s a bit of. a dull book. So I might go for lighter fare in the shape of The Paris Wife by Paula McLain which focuses on the relationship between Ernest Hemingway and his first wife.
I might read all of these. I might read none. I am such a fickle reader………
What I’m Reading is in support of WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words. WWW Wednesday is actually a weekly meme but I choose to do it just once a month.