Pre-holiday what are we reading?

When a Writer Can’t Write: Studies in Writer’s Block and Other Composing Problems by Mike Rose (no link):  Has some interesting bits, but some of it isn’t really that relevant to me.  Still, a fine read.

The sorrows of an American: I appreciated this. Read it.

This book is not a toy!: Not hilarious, but funny, and light. Ranges from Dave-Barry-esque humour to more essay-ish.

Murder in Luxury by Hugh Pentecost: I wish these mysteries weren’t OOP!

Call for the Dead by John LeCarre

fanfic: not recommended for anyone but me.

Newton’s Cannon: Awesome. Makes an especially nice companion read when your partner is playing Assassin’s Creed III.

Venetia: You know we love Heyer.

reread A Wrinkle in Time… not as good as an adult.  My recommendation:  keep it locked in your childhood memories.  (I am told it would be wise to do this with any and all C.S. Lewis as well.  Anne of Green Gables, OTOH opens up new layers as an adult.)

Finished last grown-up Diana Wynne Jones book, Enchanted Glass.  It was good, though I’m not quite sure who it was aimed for.  It seems like a children’s book… but contains some adult themes.

An infamous army… it was ok.  I sort of skimmed through the long battle scenes that are what the book is most famous for.  I was a little disappointed in the next generation of the two families she follows from previous books.  The love matches are somewhat dissatisfying as well.

What should we put on our Christmas wish lists?  (Or scrounge the library for if you’re more into recommending borrowing.)

14 Responses to “Pre-holiday what are we reading?”

  1. graduateliving Says:

    I’m excited to read Sacre Bleu (Christopher Moore’s new book – the reviews aren’t stellar, but I’m a huge fan so I’m unswayed).

    Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr. Fox is also out now, and it made my Christmas list (I’m DESPERATE for someone to get it for me). I loved The Opposite House, and I’m hoping to spend a couple evenings this break curled up with her newest novel.

  2. Ally Says:

    Intriguingly enough – as a 3rd grader I couldn’t make it more than about 10 pages into a Wrinkle in Time before giving it up, but I LOVED it at 22 (though a college senior, so we can debate if I was really “an adult” or not, lol). The real point there I think is IF you loved it as a child, don’t re-read it – but if you hated it as a child or didn’t read it – you might be safe to do so…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      It may also have something to do with amount of other fantasy/science fiction read and tolerance for blatant Christian symbolism.

      • Ally Says:

        True… and Wrinkle in Time at 22 was really the absolute first time I ever enjoyed fantasy… (I claim I spent the first 20 years of my life hooked on historical fiction, and this 20 years is for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and then maybe I’ll move on to Mysteries when I hit 40…) That and I don’t have a problem with blatant Christian symbolism if it’s well done (I LOVED C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I didn’t mind the Deus ex Machina when I was in first grade. This time around I see it not just as heavy-handed symbolism, but also as a cheap plot device. I have read many other more thoughtful fantasy/sci fi books since then. I assume her later books in the series are better because the rules of the game are set now and can’t be changed just to fix things up.

        And I do admit, the first chapter was gripping. The denouement, not so much, just in terms of mechanics. I do still like the message that adults can’t solve everything and sometimes you have to be the hero.

  3. Alyssa Says:

    I felt the same about A Wrinkle in Time when I re-read it a couple years ago. I found I was too logical as an adult to really get pulled into the story.

  4. rented life Says:

    Lewis is harder as an adult, but reading his letters proved interesting, even though I don’t share his religious views. The first time I read Wrinkle was as an adult, so I can’t speak to that one.

    I didn’t ask for any fun books for Christmas. I did ask for The History of Marriage because it continues to be referenced in other books I’m reading and maybe it’s just high time I read it myself. Husband also didn’t ask for books (for once), but he’s been going through the complete works of Robert Lewis Stevenson that I bought him for a birthday gift

  5. QueSera Says:

    I also really enjoyed The Sorrows of an American. I had the same reaction to A Wrinkle in Time which made me sad and I tried to read C.S. Lewis as an adult and just found it too simple. I think I would have enjoyed it as a child. I’m reading Anne of Green Gables right now and totally agree there are layers there. I love finding children’s books with layers.

  6. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    DC1: “I know what the wrinkle is. They just wrinkled to a planet. I think they call it tesser”

  7. GEW Says:

    I met Christopher Moore at the centennial celebration of the publication of Dracula. It was a Conference/Birthday Party for Stoker’s novel, and it was awesome (although Christopher Moore, the man, was not as awesome as one would hope).

    Right now I’m reading Wolf Hall, but I’m also listening to the audiobook of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

  8. What Now? Says:

    Yes, A Wrinkle in Time was disappointing as an adult, and its sequel, A Wind in the Door, was absolutely unreadable. L’Engle’s anti-communism is so heavy-handed that the whole thing just reads like tedious propaganda rather than a novel.

    I re-read the Narnia Chronicles a few years ago and enjoyed them but was always aware (as I wasn’t as a child) of the ways in which plot and character were inflected by Lewis’s sexist, anti-Islamist, pro-British-empire views. But, unlike in L’Engle, those views don’t ruin the story, just make it problematic.

    You know what else was a huge disappointment to re-read as an adult? Burnett’s The Secret Garden. Cloyingly sentimental and tedious. A Little Princess holds up, though, although I recognize Burnett’s conservatism now in a way that I didn’t as a child.

    And yes, I totally agree that Anne of Green Gables just keeps getting better and better! The series as a whole goes downhill, but that was always the case, and the first novel is as wonderful as ever.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      My favorite was always Anne of Windy Poplars, but I haven’t read that since I was in high school. Like the queen in the first Chrestomanci book, I’ve always romanticized boarding schools.

  9. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    I am reading “If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister’s Story of Love, Murder, and Liberation” by Janine Latus, and it is amazingly well-written and disturbing.

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