I closed 2013 by finishing a book that I’ve been picking up and putting down for months, as well as some bedside books that have been at the ready when I wake at 3am and can’t get back to sleep. And started a couple more, of course!
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese: This was a popular book, I know—and recommended to me by more than one friend—but it just never held my attention. I kept it at work and read it on and off at lunch breaks, skimming through the dullest parts, such as tedious descriptions of surgeries. Every once in a while, I’d get interested in the progress of the plot, only to be numbed again by digressions and details. I skipped through the last 200 pages in a final lunchtime marathon, so I could cross it off my list. Unfortunately, my opinion didn’t change: this book did nothing for me at all.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris: If you need your wisdom salted with absurdity, Sedaris is your man. His stories about life in France and “learning” to speak French are hilarious. My goals for 2014 include reading more Sedaris…and laughing more.
Murder, British Style, Martin H. Greenberg, ed.: Short stories with a murderous theme by familiar, and not so familiar, British writers. One of my favorites (which I’d read before) was “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl (who apparently had a much broader writing career beyond the children’s books he’s typically associated with today). There’s a Sherlock Holmes entry by Conan Doyle (always welcome) as well as a not-so-great Holmes pastiche by HRF Keating.
Currently reading: Little Dorrit (Dickens), The Wide Sargasso Sea (Rhys), and The Signature of All Things (Gilbert).
I love Wide Sargasso Sea!!! it is a great spin on the much-beloved Jane Eyre narrative, and gives a lot more sympathy for the poor crazy wife.