Friday, October 10, 2014

what to read this weekend

Hi everybody! Happy Friday!

I'm looking forward to a beautiful sunny weekend and lots of time scampering through colorful leaves with the little ones. And finally, time to exhale and curl up in my nest with a good book.

What are you reading right now?

Every fall I recharge my reading list with the Man Booker Prize nominees. The 'short list' is usually revealed in early September, and I try to read as many of the books on it as I can before the prize is awarded a month later. Not an easy feat, since I have other things to do besides devour novels, but there are few things as satisfying as a great book, so I make a valiant effort. After the prize is awarded I usually keep on working my way through the list til it's done, which makes for a delicious fall.

Right now I'm about halfway through David Mitchell's new book (you know him. The Cloud Atlas. He wrote that incredible mind-bending novel). Anyway I'm reading his new novel The Bone Clocks, which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize but didn't make the short list (a decision I've decided to agree with). It's a fun read, and as I've said I'm only about halfway through, but I don't find it nearly as uncanny or revolutionary as Cloud Atlas, or The Thousand Autumns of Jacob deZoet. But it's fun and wild, and I hate to leave a book unfinished, so I'll definitely spend some quality time snuggled up with it this weekend.

Next I'm hoping to read Joshua Ferris' To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, which I've been waiting patiently to receive from the library for quite some time now... I just know somebody has an overdue copy malingering under their couch. Wish I could go to their house and get it!

I really want to read How to Be Both by Ali Smith, but the darn book won't even be released in the US until early December. I think the publisher just likes to annoy American readers. Any rate, like David Mitchell - or maybe very unlike him? - Ali Smith messes with the conventions of novels, storytelling, chronology and grammar, and lately I've learned about myself that I really enjoy that.

My prediction for who will take the winner's podium on October 14: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler (you already know her too. She wrote The Jane Austen Book Club). We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a gem: Powerful, clear prose that anybody can read and enjoy, moving characters and a cracking good story. If the conceit of the book hasn't been spoiled for you yet on Goodreads, please please take my advice and don't read any spoilers. Just go ahead and read this fabulous, surprising novel that will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about what it means to be human.

I'm about to start the weekend off right by cleaning out the chicken coop. But I'll be puzzling over plot twists in The Bone Clocks while I do it. Hopefully the chickens don't mind.

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