It’s Monday, What are You Reading?

Image“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney to share with others what you’ve read the past week and planning to read next.

Happy Monday and for those of us in the U.S., happy 4th of July!  I’m heading off to my sister’s house in Wisconsin and looking forward to a fun week of spending time with family, playing games, going to farmer’s market, and whatever else we end up doing.  And I can’t complain about three days off work.

Here in the DC area it was a tough weekend for a lot of people.  Friday night we had this storm that was like nothing I’d ever seen.  It blew in and blew out in under an hour, but the winds sounded like a train rushing past your house and nearly every house in the region lost power for a day or more.  And that’s in 100 degree weather.  I’m fortunate to live in a neighborhood that was only built ten years ago.  It lacks personality but in a storm it comes out great — no big trees and all the power lines are buried.  So we rarely lose power.  After this weekend I’m ever so grateful for the neighborhood I live in.  We tried to reach friends, especially friends with pets and children, but I’m definitely feeling like we should have done more.

I’m still waiting to hear from one of the winners of my Giveaway Challenge, so I’ll hopefully post those tomorrow.

Now, what am I reading?

In the last week I finished The Invisible Man by HG Wells, and The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde.  If you’re a regular you know how much I love Jasper Fforde, and this book was just as good as his others.   I enjoyed The Invisible Man, but found it a little hard to get into because the main character is just a horrible human being.  I’m writing a compare/contrast of Invisible Man and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, both books I read for the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Challenge.

I also gave up on two books.  The first I received from NetGalley, called Mechanique by Genevieve Valentine.  This is a really strange, almost poetically-written novel about a circus, where the performers are all physically altered.  I tried but just didn’t feel the story was going anywhere.

The second book I gave up on was Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  I had heard this was a tough read, and like Mechanique I just didn’t feel it went anywhere fast enough.  Way too much description of Nemo’s amazing ship, but not enough plot for me.  Did I give up too soon?  Verne is classic but is he a good read?

I had a moment last week where I wanted to give up on classics (and challenges) and just read fluff for a while.  Which would be fine; but then I thought, I’d rather challenge myself.  I’ve got lots of travel time coming up where I plan to read the fluffier stuff.  Okay, maybe this wasn’t a Bleak House kind of week but The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins worked just fine.

Although I have to say, I’m not enjoying this one as much as The Woman in White.  The characters aren’t nearly as interesting, and Collins’ narrator (house steward Mr. Betteredge) makes some really horrible generalizations about women.  There doesn’t seem to be a dynamic, strong character like Marion, nor a funny, evil character like Count Fosco.  That and the story isn’t as interesting – a ghost wandering in a graveyard is much cooler than a missing diamond.  It’s still a good read but it seems a little blah compared to Woman in White.  Still, I’m not very far in so maybe it picks up.

Next up?  I’m thinking about 11/22/63 by Stephen King, Poison Study by Maria Snyder, The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan, and Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman.

Happy Monday and Happy July 4th – and my best wishes to everyone in the area still without power (though they aren’t likely to be reading a blog if they don’t have power).

It’s Monday – are you reading something good?

  8 comments for “It’s Monday, What are You Reading?

  1. July 2, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I think you did great, I would have abandoned the same ones.
    I’ve read some Wilkie Collins but his stuff just feels very dated.

  2. July 2, 2012 at 10:27 am

    That storm on Friday was insane. I’ve got power again, but for some reason the fridge and the air conditioner haven’t worked since then. I didn’t even think it was possible to have half power…

    • July 2, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      I’m glad you’ve got power but sorry about the fridge and AC… horrible storm. Unbelievable that something so fast could do so much damage.

  3. July 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    You have some good books in your future! I’m enjoying The Last Werewolf, and Blackbird House is one of my all-time fave Hoffman books. Sorry to see that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea didn’t work for you. It’s on my stacks as well.

    • July 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm

      Thanks Andi! You’ve inspired me to finally pick up The Last Werewolf actually. So many books on the list. And glad to hear about Blackbird House, I love Alice Hoffman but haven’t read one of hers in a while.

  4. July 2, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    While 20,000 Leagues is one of Verne’s best known works, I prefer the sequel, The Mysterious Island. There’s more adventure in it.

    My favorite read last week was The Bride’s Kimono by Sujata Massey. Please come see what else I’m reading.

  5. July 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Glad you are OK after the storm.
    How far along are you with The Moonstone? It has a slower start than The Woman in White, but by the end of the book, I preferred it.

    • July 8, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      That’s great to hear. I think I’ve read about a third. I do feel it’s slower but I look forward to getting farther into it.

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