Gabby Hope (gabbyhope) wrote in litterascripta,
Gabby Hope
gabbyhope
litterascripta

Question

What is everyone reading at the moment? How is it? Would you recommend it? If you're not reading anything at the moment, what is next on your list? Why?
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i'm reading number ten by sue townsend right now - quite a bit of fun. i'd recommend it to anyone who's into english humour and english politics.

next on my list is swan by frances mayes. i loved under the tuscan sun and bella tuscany, but then i'm into reading about lazy afternoons having lunch or gardening in, to me, exotic locales.
Currently re-reading "The Aenid", with "Persuader" (Lee Child) next on my list, followed by "Angels & Demons" (Dan Brown).
I just finished reading Enchantment, by Orson Scott Card. It's a very interesting take on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, in that it sort of takes up where the fairy tale leaves off. It's what happens after Happily Ever After, basically. The main character is Ivan, a Russian boy who, when he was a child, discovered a clearing in a forest, which is actually a deep basin filled with leaves, and sees a woman lying on a pedestal rising from the center of the basin, under the leaves. He runs away then but comes back many years later, after having moved to the US and becoming a scholar, specializing in myth and legends of Russia. He thinks it was just his imagination, but finds the clearing again, the woman still there. He makes his way eventually to the pedestal and does the whole 'wake the sleeping princess with a kiss' thing, and breaks the spell on her by asking her to marry him (per her frantic request, because there's a bear about to kill them).

From there things really get interesting. By breaking the spell, a bridge appears and he goes across it with the girl, who turns out to be the princess of a 9th century Russian land called Taina, and she has to marry the man who woke her in order to save them all from being taken over by Baba Yaga. But he doesn't particularly want to marry her, and the princess and her people all regard him as a pathetic, incompetent weakling.

It's really a lovely book, beautifully written and interesting. Not your typical fantasy. It's like a mixture of historical fiction, urban fantasy, and magic realism. I highly recommend it.

Next on my list (I'm never taking summer classes again, I actually have time to get through a reading list!) is probably either Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage because I'm still in awe over my recent trip to Gettysburg and want to know more about what happened there, or The Book of Flying by Keither Miller. Here's the blurb on the back. "The Book of Flying is the story of Pico's quest to gain his wings in order to win the heart of the girl he loves--a journey in which he meets a robber queen, a lonely minotaur, a cannibal, an immortal beauty, and a dream seller. He will tell them his story and learn theirs. He will fall in love. He will duel with a mad painter. He will stand face to facw with himself, in a dark castle on a remote mountain peak, and survive the valleys of the country of death before he reaches the morning town, before he learns that sometimes you must lose yourself completely in order to discover who you really are." Doesn't that sound wonderful?

I do love fantasy. :)
Unfortunately, I was finishing the Kushiel's Dart series by Jacqueline Carey and my mom took the second book away from me in the middle. I ended up reading the third, Kushiel's Avatar, last night. I don't know...it was disappointing. Mostly due to the heavy-handedness in the way the author dealt with religion, taking Judeo-Christian mythology and combining it with a (I think invented) pagan tradition along with a number of other gods. It just got incredibly annoying to recognize things and to have her referring to them with similar, but different names. I mean, Habiru instead of Hebrew? There was so much Hebrew taken outright, and then the Christian elements seemed an afterthought. I thought it lacked originality and rather than serve as something to relate to, it became annoying. Her sex scenes were only interesting sometimes. The political intrigue was truly where the story excelled and it's a pity it got swallowed under the religion. I'll probably finish the second book anyway, but it's just not my style. Especially not when I realize that I've discovered the basic formula to each of the books in the trilogy. If the formula's visible like that, it tends to detract from the story for me.
Am reading Narziss&Goldmund by Herman Hesse, Homer's Iliad, and a book about the 1994 genocid in Ruanda right now. Highly recommend all three.

Next up, I fear it's time for my annual Dune series rereading.
Will preface this by reminding all that I'm a geek and go through history books like so much candy.

Just finished Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century by Graham Robb. Fascinating stuff, so much more than just Oscar Wilde and Radclyffe Hall.

Currently working my way through the new history of Germany by Ozment and some Athens history that was on the Troy display at the store and looked cool. Liking both so far, but only a couple chapters in in each case.

Also rereading the Harry Bosch novels, because I love a good, gritty mystery.
"The Namesake" by Jhumpa Lahiri. I loved her short story collection and decided to go ahead and read her novel. It's beautifully written, but not really as good as her short stories. Sometimes I feel like she's describing rather than showing. Time passes so quickly, and I want her to slow down so I can enjoy the dinners or the romance or the tension. Read "Interpreter of Maladies," though. That's her short story collection, which is just amazing.
Dragon Wing, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and I find the co-writing aspect fascinating. I think this may be the first book I've read in which different characters are written by different authors with clearly differing styles, and because it's fantasy they've been able to create their own clearly differing worlds as well. I'm not very far into it, and I'm curious to see what happens when they finally start interacting through their characters. Tigging, so to speak. *g*
I just finished Set This House in Order by Matt Rush. About a character with MPD, it definitely veers into a slightly melodramatic course of events at the end, but the premise is so interesting and the voice so sharp that I would rec it. Everything about the storytelling is like nothing I've read before and the characters are not always sympathetic, but always compelling.
I tend to read reams of books at a time. At the present time, I am reading:

1. Wolves of the Calla from Stephen King's Dark Tower series
2. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
3. The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien
4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

I would recommend the series of number one in a second, even to people who have decided they do not enjoy the works of SK. The books are light years away from his other work (even though he likes to make little tie-ins to previous novels), and he evens seems to experiment with different styles along the way. Very fresh and original.

I think I am the only one who has not yet read Good Omens. On the off chance that I am not, it must be read. There's nothing better than a book that will make you snort at its dry, sarcastic wit in the middle of a group of strangers. I have never read anything by Pratchett or Gaiman before, but it's safe to say that I will now be doing so.

There seems to be a love/hate relationship with the way Tolkien writes. I must admit that I never thought I would actually sit down and find myself enjoying The Silmarillion, but rather forcing myself through it so I could move on to The Unfinished Tales. I was quite surprised to find things otherwise. The first thing I thought of when I began it was The Bible. Plotted out very matter-of-factly, stark, with only the necessary details. And looking at it that way has brought me into it quite well. It's definitely not for all tastes, but worth a look.

I started The Color Purple because I went to a friend's English class one afternoon to kill time, and needed something to read for half an hour. It's what I randomly picked up off the shelf and began berating myself for not having read it sooner. Written in dialect, so not for everyone's tastes, but I find that it makes things all the richer for this novel.

Next on the list is the Harry Potter books again, I should think, or at least 3 through 5. *geeks it up*
The Colour by Rose Tremain, which is about the goldrush in New Zealand in the 1800s, and pioneer life, and it was FABULOUS and it even had BOYTOUCHING OMG.

reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed it.
Oo, that sounds damn cool. Not to mention, um: I didn't know that NZ had had a goldrush. o.O

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