Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Monday -- What I am Reading

The Monday reading summary challenge: I'm glad I'm finally accumulating titles to add to this challenge. I find that at different times of the year, I fall into a rhythm where I do a lot more reading than others. Usually it relates to whether I'm feeling a lot of stress because of work or school (and I'm done with my master's now, so I have one fewer excuse). But anyway --

Reviews of what I finished this week:

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco (audiobook).

Mr. Toppit by Charles Elton (Amazon Vine, New Author Challenge)

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore (A mixture of literary mystery and historical fiction; Library challenge)

What I'm reading now:

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu: This book is a mix of literary fiction and SF; a character named Charles Yu inhabits a time machine at a time when time machines are common; he slips into an infinite loop that involves his unresolved feelings about his parents. Part SF spoof (allusions to Time and Again and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), part exploration of a dysfunctional family, the relatively brief novel is absorbing. I ready his short story collection, Third Class Superhero, last year, and I liked most of the stories.

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell -- I got this off the Amazon Vine program, and I'll read it after I finish Safely. I've read the first 60 pages or so, and so far it's quite compelling. Besides, I like fiction about Florida.

Books that came to my attention:

With the deaths of Wilfrid Sheed and Reynolds Price, I found a few titles that I'd like to catch up on. I bought Price's The Good Priest's Son a year or two ago and want to read it this year. Meanwhile, Sheed's Max Jamison sounds fun.

Book award nominations:

Of the fiction nominees for the National Book Critics Circle award, I read A Visit From the Goon Squad (a really good novel made up of interlocking short stories) and own Freedom (on my list to read this year). Skippy Dies, To the End of the Land and Comedy in a Minor Key are all titles I'd read about last year and would like to read in the future. What's interesting is that it's a completely different list from the National Book Awards (I think this probably happens often), which produced a list of novels I really have no interest in reading, except maybe for Hotel. Likewise, I really didn't want to read the 2010 Pulitzer Prize novel, either.


Jennifer said...

I truly enjoyed The Sherlockian and I was to read Mr. Toppit. Have a wonderful week. My Monday:

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

You have a good book selection here. I hope you enjoy them all!