for that stupid dental crown that broke last week and the temporary
crown that fell off over the weekend (millions of dentist office
visits!), life is finally back to what I call normal. That means I'm
still working hard, but my evenings and weekends are once again mine.
I'm hoping for lots of pleasure reading to finish out the year (yikes! only ten weeks or so until New Year's). In the meantime, I was able to find a few moments to read and to listen to audiobooks, so all was not lost, though I feel like I'm somehow falling behind.
What I read last week
- A Wild Swan by Michael Cunningham
is a collection of fairy tale retellings that combine traditional
elements with contemporary details. These are dark, adult tales that
show the universal and eternal themes of these centuries-old stories. I
also loved the awesome black-and-white illustrations. (now in paperback
from Picador USA, 9781250097309)
- Agnes by Peter Stamm is a translation of the author's short debut novel. Although the book has the feel of an early work, this look at life imitating art (or is it art imitating life?) is worth your time. A Swiss nonfiction author meets a Chicago graduate student who wants him to write her story. (Other Press, 9781590518113)
- The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper is the story of two sisters and one special-needs girl, who has unusual talents. There was way too much foreshadowing in this book to make it a winner with me, though others have loved the themes of sisters, family, and motherhood. Narrators Andi Ardnt and Cassandra Campbell do good work here. For more, see AudioFile magazine. (Highbridge Audio; 9 hr, 20 min)
- The Boat Rocker by Ha Jin is an audiobook I don't think I totally understood. It's the story of a Chinese-born naturalized U.S. citizen who is stretching his wings to tell the truth through his journalism. Eduardo Ballerini is a pleasure to listen to, but I question the decision to forgo the use of a Chinese accent. For more, see AudioFile magazine. (Random House Audio; 6 hr, 37 min)
- The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz is a kind of take-off of Chaucer set in Medieval times and geared to a middle grade audience. It involves the French crown and the Church and their conflict with three children and a dog. I've just started this multicast audiobook from Listening Library, but I can already tell I'm going to be hooked. This is for pleasure reading, so a review will appear here soon.
- The Guineveres by Sarah Doment is the story of four girls, all named Guinevere, who bond over shared names and their orphan status. We follow the girls as they juggle their Catholic upbringing with their more worldly desires. So far this is another huge winner from Amy Einhorn, who is now with Flatiron Books (9781250086617)