Monday, April 11, 2016

What I'm reading this week (4/11/16)

Operation "Read Only Library Books" is in full swing, but it did strike me last week that it may not have been a good idea for one reason. I generally buy my books and only check out books that I am not sure I'll enjoy enough to keep after reading. In my life, library books are noncommittal books. And reading a whole month's worth of noncommittal books might be kind of ho-hum. On the other hand, these are all books I'm interested in, so maybe I'll find a gem. I'll let you know what happens.

Last week I finished:

Everyone is reading (or has read) H Is for Hawk, and I'm glad I did, too. I'm of two minds. On the one hand, the author is dealing with the grief of losing her father, so it resonates with my life at present. Also, I'm fascinated by birds, so there is that. On the other hand, Macdonald doesn't do a great job explaining falconry, the nature of a hawk, etc., which seems a huge oversight. Perhaps UK readers all know about hawks? Also, much of the book is used in telling the plot of another book, T.H. White's The Goshawk, which bored me to tears. On the third hand, it's well-written and engaging (the non-White-book parts) and has a strong emotional pull. I mean, you're training a vicious bird to do your bidding all the while knowing one wrong move might make you hawk lunch; knowing there is trust between you, but not love; knowing the wild nature has never been trained out of a hawk. It raises fascinating questions. Bottom line is that you should give it a try. I think it's worthwhile.

Last week I began:

At one point last week I was down to reading only two books, and I panicked. To think I used to think I'd never read more than one at a time! So I quickly remedied the situation by beginning two books. I started Dana Gioia's 99 Poems, which I'm really enjoying. It's funny, of all the poetry books I've read this year, I think I've known poems in all of them. Same for this one. It's nice to turn the page and see a favorite or familiar poem there--like turning on the radio when they're playing a song you used to love.

I also started Harriet the Spy, which I'd been really excited to read for a long time, then, for some reason, not excited at all. But so far so good. I like Harriet and her exacting ways and eagle eye, which will likely get her into a whole heap of trouble.

My new audiobook:

I decided I needed another re-read, so I chose The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry on audio. Kathleen Flinn is one of my favorite authors, I love all three of her cooking/memoir books, but this is the first. The narrator of the audio is very good, which is no small feat with all the French words--plus Asian and British accents. Very well done. I adore this book.

This week I'll be reading:

I'm told by all corners that there's nothing not to love about A Man Called Ove. (Incidentally, I've heard that his name is pronounced "Oova," but I come from Norwegian stock where "Ove" is pronounced "O-vee". Anyone know for sure?) I read the first few pages online, and I wasn't impressed by the writing, but hopefully the characters pull me in. It's one of those books I'm anxious to read because everyone else is loving it, but I don't have terribly high expectations of this on a personal level.

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