Monday, April 23, 2007

A letter alerting me to two more books awaiting collection at the library have plunged me into a reading crisis! Ann over at Patternings was talking about this last week, and it certainly holds true for me, largely related to books I’ve reserved over the internet. Let’s face it – so tempting to reserve titles once you’ve been seduced by someone’s online review! What I realized looking at my teetering pile is that I have too many books on the go, but am finishing none. My mission for the weekend was to at least finish two which could be returned in exchange for the newly arrived ones. I've now done that, but am still engrossed in the following (all quotations from jackets):

26a – Diana Evans
In the past year it feels as though this has been shortlisted for just about everything. The rebirthing start has me wondering if it it my kind of book, but I'll reserve judgement for the moment.

I am a sucker for all books relating immigrant experience. I noticed this one around the time last year that the press here kept reporting on African bodies washing up on the beaches of mainland Europe – bizarre photographs of bikinied sunbathers under umbrellas with bodies slumped lifeless just yards away accompanied the column inches.

THE BITCH IN THE HOUSE – edited by Cathi Hanauer
I've had this checked out since February! Gender roles in workplace and home and the juggling act of modern societal pressures and marriage have long been an interest of mine. “Lifts the lid on an explosive social phenomenon: the angry working woman...”

Shah buys and restores a house in Morocco. I'm all for a little restoration work. Morocco makes a nice change from all the relocation books set in Italy.

COMFORT WOMAN – Nora Okja Keller
The current book group selection over at Kimbofo's Reading Matters. Discussion starts Saturday, so I'll have to get a move on with this one.

Recommended by dovegreyreader following one of my enthusiastic ramblings on MAKING OF A MARCHIONESS. “As long as one has a garden, one has a future; and as long as one has a future one is alive.” Amen to that.

HARVEST OF THORNS – Shimmer Chinodya
“...a milestone in the history of Zimbabwe's war of liberation.” Highly recommended by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The Baobab Books copy I have is so dreadfully tatty that it is hardpushed to describe itself as a book. Countless library users have obviously loved it to death.

“In late November, 1528 a handful of Spaniards, survivors of an ill-fated expedition to Florida, were washed ashore in the Gulf of Mexico. One of these was Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, thirty-eight and the lieutenant of the expedition...a little gem that tells of what men can and cannot do when they must do something or die.” The Ecologist reading group selection.

POOR MERCY – Jonathan Falla
“Farah ibn Mashoud, a sweet-tempered young man of promise, was shot with a high velocity rifle on the road from Nyala to El Fasher – a work of some skill.” One of those unforgettable first sentences. Set in Darfur, Sudan. Given the current crisis there this seemed a good place to start. Fiction written by a former aid worker to the Sudan.

SACRED HUNGER – Barry Unsworth
Too thick! Too thick! Too thick! No doubt it is a good book, but the hardback's biblical proportions have left it languishing by my bedside.

STARDUST – Neil Gaiman
I've only ever read his graphic novels, which I consider works of pure genius. But the film of STARDUST is released this summer. I usually never see a film before reading the book (if it has literary antecedents) so it is giving me incentive to see this one done and dusted promptly. Danielle at A Work in Progress has just finished it.

TOLKIENS' GOWN – Rick Gekoski
Anything to do with used and antiquarian books is guaranteed to lure me in. Recommended by a South African friend, who recognises an obsessional book nature when she sees one.

Oh dear, the morning's post just plopped onto my mat and guess what? Another library reserved title has arrived. I wonder if they would consider increasing the number of books I'm allowed out at any one time?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take hundreds over my limit out. Faversham library (so much easier with a little one!) are just grateful that someone is borrowing them! "Stardust" is fab, but there are much better Unsworth's out there for all "Sacred Hunger"'s award-winning-ness. I adore "Stone Virgin" which is also much much shorter!


6:35 pm  
Blogger Ex Libris said...

I know what you mean about reading too many books and finishing none! That's exactly what has been happening to me lately. I am only now beginning to finish books I started in March!

1:26 am  
Anonymous Anthea said...

How lovely to be able to dip into those bitesized reviews; books are precious where I live and so when I'm in a bookstore I collect them with voracious energy. I love them: the smell, the feel of their spines in my hand, knowing I have them is liking knowing I have friends. If I leave my children anything, may it be the same passion for books

8:45 am  
Blogger equiano said...

Hi Suzanne - I confess I have returned SACRED HUNGER. But I found a paperback copy for 20p at the hospice shop, so I hope to get to it yet!

Ex libris - it is good to know others out there are in the same boat!

Welcome Anthea! Your blog is a great recent find. Just from the way you describe books, I feel sure you've already managed to instill your children with a love of books - how could you not?!

9:42 am  

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