I just finished reading The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2015 review. Even with what I thought was prolific reading this year, I’ve only read two! (The Incarnations and Dragonfish) And both are in this month’s Reading post. Plus, there is a book listed that I have bought – as a pre-order for August 2016. (A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories) How did that make it on to the 2015 list if it’s not even available yet?
On with the report.
November was distracted. Reading had very little place in it. There had been rumors for month that my company was going to have layoffs mid-November. This led to worry, anxiety, and thinking about next-step options and to reading selections like Big Travel, Small Budget: How to Travel More, Spend Less, and See the World and Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship – both representing the pursuit of one’s dreams. This round of layoffs are over, and I am still employed. I am laughing as I realize I have not finished either book. The Pirate Hunters book has been returned to the library and the Big Travel book is on my Kindle. I’ll probably start reading it again with the next round of impending layoffs…
November 2015 Reading
|Dragonfish||Vu Tran||Thumbs down.|
|Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship||Robert Kurson||Good|
|The Liar||Nora Roberts||UGH|
|Silent House||Orhan Pamuk||No, not for me.|
|Big Travel, Small Budget: How to Travel More, Spend Less, and See the World||Ryan Shauers||Liking it.|
|The Incarnations||Susan Barker||Good|
The Incarnations is our December book club selection. We wanted something different from what we’ve already read together. We achieved that. I can’t think of any book that I’ve read like this one. This is the story of a taxi driver in Beijing who is being left letters from his soul mate, telling him of their history together. It travels through centuries of Chinese history telling of their various relationships, weaving in Wang’s current life, and his reaction to receiving these letters. It was very interesting. I would recommend it, much in the way of the I Am Pilgrim recommendation. I would want you to read it so we can discuss it together.
I had been on the library wait list for Dragonfish for awhile, so when it was finally my turn to check it out I couldn’t remember what it was about! Don’t you hate when that happens?! This does sound worthwhile:
Vu Tran has written a thrilling and cinematic work of sophisticated suspense and haunting lyricism, set in motion by characters who can neither trust each other nor trust themselves. This remarkable debut novel is a noir page-turner resonant with the lasting reverberations of lives lost and lives remade a generation ago.
But it just wasn’t for me.
Orhan Pamuk has a new book (A Strangeness in My Mind) that looked interesting but it wasn’t available in the library so I checked out Silent House instead. I did not like the writing style, though the story seemed like it had potential. I stopped after a couple of chapters.
Yes, I am admitting to have started a Nora Roberts book, The Liar. Her books are usually light and breezy and allow for distraction from reality for a bit. This one was so poorly written that I had to stop.
The books I bought in November were primarily based on Kindle deals. A book club friend told me about the Estelle Ryan books; she also “bought” them at no charge through Amazon. This month’s purchases – the Leon Berger & Estelle Ryan books were at no charge. The Dana Cowin book was $1.99, but looks good. I’ve enjoyed her perspective when she guest judges on Top Chef, and who can resist the subtitle of this book: Learning to Cook with 65 Great Chefs and Over 100 Delicious Recipes. (I love the “over 100” notation. I haven’t counted them – maybe there’s 101?)
Books Bought November 2015
|Big Travel, Small Budget: How to Travel More, Spend Less, and See the World||Ryan Shauers|
|The Incarnations||Susan Barker|
|The Gauguin Connection||Estelle Ryan|
|The Dante Connection||Estelle Ryan|
|Lunch with Charlotte||Leon Berger|
|Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen||Gail Cowin, Julia Turshen|
Our book club discussion is on Tuesday – I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts about The Incarnations and seeing what we decide on for our next selection!