Progress: Notes From A Reading Life – November 21, 2010 [TSS]

Sunday Salon

Happy Sunday everyone!  This is one of the few Sundays that I actually get to lay around the house and do nothing.  Usually I am running off to brunch, or bocce,  or going to spend time with my family – who knows, some of that could still happen…but I haven’t planned for anything to happen.

One of the things that I have come to love about Goodreads is how easily it allows me to track my reading, see what I started, when I started and roughly how many pages I am reading at the time.  I am at one of those points where I am confused at the as to the next book I want to pick up.  Many things are tempting me, but I haven’t read anything with the intention of finishing since last Thursday.

Yesterday I read about 100 pages of The Monstrumologist, by Rick Yancey because I needed to post my giveaway and I wanted to offer some initial thoughts on the book before I did so.  I’m a little squeamish about monsters eating people, but I love the characterizations in the story, so I am reading with one eye open for scariness.  I will likely continue with this one as I try to pin down my next read.

The beginning of last week found me reading Lady of Hay, by Barbara Erskine and thoroughly enjoying it. The novel mixes medieval-ish era historical fiction with modern day reincarnation, and explores the life of Matilda, Lady of Hay and her troubled relationship with her husband and King John.  She also has a thing for Richard de Clare, a bright spot in a generally sad and difficult life.  Erskine is skilled at presenting the world of the past, and the details and story are intriguing, if a little uneven. The past is wonderfully portrayed and I could read it forever, but I find the present day to be a little melodramatic, the dialogue stilted, and the characters just a wee bit wooden.  I hit a snag with this with some of the abuse of power going on around the hypnotic past life regressions.  It’s just so unethical that it is hard for me to stomach.  Reading about past life jealousy as a reason for sexual assault has been equally distasteful.   I am not sure how the situation is resolved, but I wasn’t enjoying where it was going and I’m hesitating on whether to pick it back up.

I started and  finished The Virgin Widow, by Anne O’Brien last week and it was a fast paced, interesting and a largely fictionalized take on the life of Anne of Neville, who went on to marry the much maligned Richard the III.  Richard here is more complex, sympathetic, and dare I say more romantic here than he is portrayed in most histories.  I mostly really enjoyed this one. O’Brien is very good at world building, and I felt that I had enough of a grasp on the politics to begin to understand the very confusing War of the Roses with its competing Houses of Lancaster and York.  No quizzes (!) , but I do know the major players, the stakes involved and what motivated the decisions that were made.  The last third of the novel veered a bit too heavily into romance for me, and I thought a lot of what Anne would have understood about politics was sacrificed to build conflict in her love relationship with Richard, but up until then I was enthralled.

So that’s just a little of what I have been reading this past week.  Today I am continuing with The Monstrumologist while I continue to consider my choices. Angel and Apostle, by Deborah Noyes has been calling to me lately, so just maybe I will read a few pages of it later on today.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Progress: Notes From A Reading Life   August 9, 2010

Anyone up to anything fun and exciting today?

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  1. I read the bit about the Monstrumentalist, yesterday. I’ll be looking forward to your review when you’re all finished. I’m coming out of a dry spell, myself, in terms of “what’s my next book”. I’ve been handed a few, by friends, and they seem to be wetting the reading soil so hopefully I’m out of my slump. Hope your Sunday is lovely. Happy reading!

  2. Flesh-eating monsters sound good to me! I have been absent lately…sorry about that. I very quickly hopped over there to sign up for your giveaway. It sounds like you have had some great reading lately, and a nice relaxing day to do some more (jealous!).

  3. A nice quiet Sunday seems heavenly. I have a Good Reads account but I haven’t even entered any books on the site. I’ll have to look around and see what that tracking your reading thing is all about.

  4. Aren’t lazy Sundays just the best? Particularly when they are so few and far between.

    I don’t know why I’m so averse to picking up The Monstrumologist, I hear nothing but great things about it, but I just can’t get myself excited enough to pick up a copy. I hope you enjoy it as you work your way through.

    Have a happy holiday!