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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Finished, In Progress, and TBR

I've been busy lately and am trying now to catch up with my blog reading (and posting, I guess).

Finished Renfield (thanks, Chris, for this recommendation!) Will review soon, but if you are a fan of Bram Stoker's Dracula, this one should be on your list. An excellent R.I.P. Challenge book.

I've been reading more of Flannery O'Connor's letters (The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor) and am determined to finish this one before the end of the year. The letters retain their zest and with each return to them, after either brief or lengthy absences, O'Connor charms me anew. I've posted at least 10 times about these letters, and my book is full (FULL) of sticky notes and highlighting. I know that some of you cringe at highlighting and annotation, but this book will never leave my possession, and I need to be able to refer to some of the funny, humane, fascinating stuff that catches my attention. She flat-out amazes me and my admiration only grows each time I return to the book.

M.F.K. Fisher's The Art of Eating has been sidelined for a while. I'd rather eat than read about eating at the moment. As mentioned previously, this one is a long term project, nothing like the novels I (excuse the metaphor) gobble up.

Started The Lace Reader last night, and I'm enthralled. An ARC from Gary at Flap Jacket Press, I picked it up at random after finishing Renfield, because I didn't have the energy to think about choosing the next book to read, then found I couldn't put it down.

I received a copy of The Thirteenth Tale from Simon & Schuster, and since I'd read Diane Setterfield's wonderful novel last year and loved it, I passed it on to my sister-in-law. Hopefully, it will make its way through the teachers' lounge and gain wider prominence. As those of you who have read and enjoyed it know, the book is a delicious play on all of our favorite Gothic novels, from The Woman in White to Rebecca (and many others). I gave a short review here. My thanks to the folks at Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy so I could share the pleasure.

New books received from Anna at FSB: Definitive Guide to Cancer: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment, and Healing (hopefully, only to be used because of an interest in the use of alternative and integrative medicine) and The Dead Guy Interviews: Conversations with 45 of the Most Accomplished, Notorious, and Deceased Personalities in History. The first one I expect to find both interesting and enlightening. The second, I think, may need to be taken in very small doses.

From Monica at Beacon Press: 60 On Up: The Truth About Aging in America. Well, of course, this one speaks to me! On the other hand, it may also have much to offer even to those who are nowhere close, but whose parents and grandparents fall into this category. As I have a little over a year left to go before reaching that marker, I am looking not only at my own entry into this group, but at my father, aunts, uncles, friends, and teachers who have reached the "on up" portion. Sobering.

This is hilarious. Found it at Basset Knitter.


  1. Glad you enjoyed Renfield! I thought it was a great companion piece and she wrote it with respect to Stoker's classic. My biggest fear was that she was going to rip Dracula to shreds, but I found myself relaxing more and more with each chapter.

    You've amassed quite an eclectic bunch of books lately! The sound great! I've been hearing a lot about The Lace Reader sounds like just my kind of book. I'll pick it up one of these days, I have so many other books to read!

  2. The breadth of your interests never ceases to amaze me. You are such a treat to read.

  3. One of these years I'll read O'Connor's letters too -- I'm certain I'll love them. Every time I teach one of her stories I'm more impressed by her.

  4. Chris -- I enjoyed Renfield very much because Hambly did such a good job of both respecting the original (as you mention) and creating a new perspective.

    Jill -- That is such a nice thing to say!

    dorothy -- You would really appreciate O'Connor's explanations to some of her correspondents. Her responses to their comments on Enoch, Haze, Tarwater, the Old Lady, the Misfit, etc., make me want to look up the stories immediately.

  5. That book cover for The Lace Reader is pretty. The blurb on Amazon definitely caught my attention so I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that one. Sounds good already!

  6. iliana -- I liked it very much. Now, I need to write the review!

  7. I hope your gift of The Thirteenth Tale generates a lot of new fans for the book!