Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tuesdays on the Margins. Sorta.

So despite my passionate declaration that I was going to just stop reading books that weren't awesome and just read all my awesome books in a big awesome string of awesomeness, I have found myself partway through a dozen books again. Here's the rundown:

Songbook by Nick Hornby: According to Goodreads, I've already read this, but I don't remember reading it AT ALL, even while (apparently) re-reading it. It's magnificent. I was leaving for physio and had forgotten to find a book, and only grabbed it because it was the right size (small and light enough to hold in one hand while my shoulder was being buzzed, iced and womanhandled). Ended up grinning like a dork and laughing out loud through the whole physio appointment. You know that quote that says writing about music is like dancing about architecture? I imagine that Nick Hornby could do the kind of dance that would make you go "Hot damn! I finally understand what the Taj Mahal is all about!"

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff: I'm going to Zarah's this week-end, and she's hosting book club, so she told me which book they were reading so I could check it out. It's about Mormons - the 19th wife is Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's 19th wife, who rebelled against polygamy and denounced it publicly and in writing. This history is intertwined with a modern-day sect that practices polygamy and a son who was thrown out as a child and returns to try to clear his mother's name. I have to say that the 'mystery' seems kind of lame - every time it returns to his storyline the mystery part is advanced so infinitesimally that you wonder why they bothered. But his storyline apart from that is compelling, and the parts dealing with the history of LDS are also very readable. It's long, but I'm getting through it faster than I thought I would.

Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel edited by David Gatewood

I think I got this through Kindle Unlimited when I signed up for a free trial. I don't think I'll continue with Kindle Unlimited - a couple of books I've actually wanted to read were available free through it, but mostly it's self-published crap and nothing current or in demand. I'm a sucker for time travel fiction. Some of these are meh, a couple are almost great but rely too much on that lack-of-closure, not-spoon-feeding-the-reader crap (I get SO pissed off if I can't figure out exactly what happened and I feel like it's because the author was lazy or trying to be too cool) and a couple are amazing.

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon: The enduring power of the printed word? A pandemic of decaying language called the word flu? Sounded right up my alley. But didn't grab me at all. I had the ebook from the library, read a bit, let it expire once, borrowed it again and didn't even open it. Not sure how I'll proceed.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell: I loved Cloud Atlas (the book AND the movie). I borrowed this from the library, realized I'd never finish it during the lending period (David Mitchell requires time and space to stretch out in), so I bought it. I started reading it and was liking it. then stupidly read a bunch of negative reviews. Started reading other stuff. I will go back to this and finish it.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs: I loved the previous book in this series, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and I think the only problem with this one is I should really go back and read the first one before continuing, so I keep reading a few pages and then putting it down indecisively.




7 comments:

Alison said...

Books! I have Thoughts. (I was just thinking I need to do a mini-review roundup. But most of them would be books I haven't finished because meh.)

1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Nick Hornby. Have you read his collections of columns about books that he did for The Believer? (The first one is called The Polysyllabic Spree, I believe.) I just love his writerly voice; he seems like it so nice to hang out with him in a pub.

2. I remember when a lot of people I know IRL (okay, a couple. Unfortunately I don't know too many avid readers IRL) were reading The 19th Wife. Back then I feel the same as I do now: I'm not sure if a slow-moving book about Mormonism is exactly my cup of tea. There are so many books I really want to get to.

3. I considered Kindle Unlimited, but they didn't have a lot of books I wanted to read and vice versa...so, bullet dodged. I use my library system and the Overdrive app. It's a long wait for new books but it works okay along with the regular requesting system. I have bought quite a few books for the Kindle app on my new iPad mini for great prices through Amazon's daily deals. I'm sure I'll read them someday. I am currently forbidding myself to buy any more e-books.

4. I know what you mean about a book seeming to be right smack in the middle of your wheelhouse, but then it seems like something is missing in the execution. (The Miss Peregrine book was such a one for me. It was just okay, I thought.) I've been interested in the IDEA of The Bone Clocks so I'll probably check it out and read it. Is the tone super-depressing; or, better, what adjective would you use to describe it?

I absolutely adored Mitchell's Black Swan Green, which I found through a recommendation penned by--wait for it--Nick Hornby.

Boom! Full circle, baby. That feels super satisfying.

Steph Lovelady said...

Hollow City is on my list (and Noah's). We read Miss Peregrine separately but we may read that one together.

Nicole said...

The 19th Wife sounds very interesting to me. I'm going to look it up.

Tudor said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! Sorry to be that person but "self-published crap" KILLS me because my self-published books are MUCH better than my traditionally published book.

I actually have a lot of trouble reading traditionally published books anymore because I find myself thinking of all the ways they could have been better edited and then thinking of how they cost at least four or five times more than the self-pubbed books I read, and I just get grumpy and stop reading.

And also "A Shore Thing" by Snooki is trad published and I usually rest my case on that one.

OK, proud-to-be-indie-publishing rant over! Sorry for hijacking your post :)

Bibliomama said...

Tudor - I apologize unreservedly for that stupid throw-away comment. I have read a lot of self-published stuff that is crap, but I didn't at all mean that all self-published books are crap. I believe The Martian originated as a self-published book on Amazon, and I LOVED The Martian. I do kind of feel like I need a curator, though, because I find it harder to locate the good self-published books. It was a thoughtless comment, though, and I agree it's offensive to people who self-publish, and I'm sorry.

Tudor said...

Totally not offensive. It gave me an opening to preach! There is a lot messed up in publishing these days and I love reminding people that self-publishing gives a voice / outlet to all the people who would otherwise be rejected by the traditional publishing world. It also means that I earn more than twice as much for each $2.99 copy I sell of my self-published book, than for each $12.95 copy of my traditionally published book, and I think THAT is so much more fair for me and my readers! And I would absolutely LOVE to send you my self-pubbed books to read (I can do that because they're mine so I can give them to anybody I like) - if you email me - tudor (at) tudorrobins.ca, I'll email them to you!

It's all good :)

Maria said...

Have not read any of those. I have to admit something here. I have this terrible habit of being prejudiced towards modern day books written by men. Unless it is John Grisham or Stephen King, I usually have a hell of a time getting engaged. And I like Grisham because he is the only author of lawyer oriented books that I like and as far as I'm concerned, Stephen King is not just a writer of horror, but the Shakespeare of our generation.