Monday, July 19, 2010

My week in reading.

My new Kindle is keeping me busy as I now seem to be juggling my library hold list, stuff I've downloaded to the Kindle, my own library of unread books, and some loans from my sister-in-law.  So here's the latest:


Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

One of the best reads so far this summer, this is a charming novel about a widower in a small English village (the Major) who befriends the local Pakistani shopkeeper, Mrs. Ali. This is Simonson's first novel and she has a wonderful ear for dialogue that is sharp and funny.  This was a book that I absolutely did not want to end, and that would make a wonderful film in the right hands.  A deft melange of the old and new worlds, the British and the American, the village and the city, I found myself laughing out loud, reading bits to my husband, and wishing that I could underline sections (were it not a library book).  Highly recommended!

Animal Husbandry by Laura Zigman

Animal HusbandryI was introduced to Laura Zigman's writing through Twitter...I think I started following her after she was retweeted by someone.  This took me to a most moving blog post, after which I put her first book on hold at the library.

Animal Husbandry is the anatomy of a relationship seen through the eyes of a zoologist (I guess).  Zigman's protagonist examines her life through the eyes of a scientist, creating what she refers to as the Old Cow - New Cow theory.  Thoroughly entertaining.

In Progress

The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis

This was the first book I downloaded onto my Kindle.  It's Fallis' first novel, a satirical look at Canadian politics through they eye of an executive assistant on The Hill, and is very funny.  I have been listening to The High Road (see below) through weekly chapter podcasts and felt I needed to whip through the first novel as The High Road is a follow-up to this one.  I've just got a couple of chapters to go and it's been a fun, light read.


The High Road by Terry Fallis

This doesn't come out in print until the Fall, but Fallis is podcasting it chapter by chapter, free, at iTunes. A follow-up to The Best Laid Plans, it continues the adventures of an originally reluctant MP as he tries to participate in the Canadian democratic process using his brain and his conscience, rather than simply following party lines.  Plus he's a Scot, a mechnanical engineer, is building a hovercraft, and has some personal grooming issues.  Doesn't get much better than this!


The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

Product DetailsI first heard about this book on The Colbert Report when Stephen interviewed Nicholas Carr, but then it started popping up on all manner of blogs, magazines and newspapers.  The Kindle lets you download a free sample before you buy, and that was enough to get me hooked.  I've just put a toe in so far, but it should be a good read. I worry not just for the next generation but also for myself, as I feel my attention span shrinking with every tweet.

The Pact: A Love Story by Jodi Picoult

The PactMy sister-in-law just lent me this.  We're both big Picoult fans and I thought I'd read them all, but this is from 1998 and it doesn't look familiar, although I will be the first to admit that I have gotten a chapter or so into a book before I realised that i'd read it before.  But I hope this is a new one!  She had it up at the cottage where our paths crossed last weekend, and she sent me back with How Do You Tuck In a Superhero?: And Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys by Rachel Balducci.  

Up Next:

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

I became a big fan of Alan Bennett when I saw his play The Habit of Art broadcast live from the National Theatre in London.  I just got this in Audiobook format from the library and have loaded it onto my iPhone.  This novella imagines what might happen if the Queen (Elizabeth) suddenly discovers the pleasures of reading (via a mobile library van) and loses interest in the normal queenly preoccupations.  Am VERY much looking forward to this!

Study Is Hard Work by William H. Armstrong

This was mentioned on Mental Multivitamin a few couple of weeks back and I quickly put it on hold at the library.  I want to press it on my teen sons, but will read it first so that I can speak with enthusiasm about something that I think will be of great use to them.

Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier

As I mentioned previously, it was Chevalier who got me interested and engaged in historical fiction.  This is her latest, about a (female) fossil hunter in 19th century England.



Bailey said...

Looks like you have had a busy reading week! Major Pettigrew's Last Stand is something I have been meaning to read for awhile. Here's mine if you get a chance!

Stephanie N said...

I would love to read the Fallis books as I heard a lot about the first one. I even have it on my TBR pile, but haven't read it yet. Have a great reading week!

bookjourney said...

The Pact is one of my favorite Piccoult reads! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Anna Marie said...

I downloaded The Shallows from today. I remember reading is article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" awhile back, and there as a very good article in the Guardian about slow reading that cites the Shallows. In fact I link to it in my It's Monday, What Are You Reading? Hope you enjoy it. I've a few hours left on my current audio, until I can start it.